Needful Things (1993) Max von Sydow, Ed Harris, Bonnie Bedelia, Amanda Plummer, J.T. Walsh Movie Review

Needful Things (1993)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Shane Meier and Max von Sydow in Needful Things (1993)

A New Curiosity Shop

After a career in the city Sheriff Alan Pangborn (Ed Harris) has moved to Castle Rock, New England where the relatively quite pace of life suits him as does cafe owner Polly Chalmers (Bonnie Bedelia). But things start to take a strange turn when Leland Gaunt (Max von Sydow) arrives in town with his curiosity shop which miraculously seems to stock not only what you want but at a small cost as well. But although things are cheap he also requests a small deed in return a small joke to be played on another resident in town. Soon several residents are in Gaunt's debt and the pranks they play leads to retaliation and a whole lot of trouble in town, much more than the Sheriff imagined. But as he investigated he not only discovers things are a lot more tangled than he realised but they tend to lead back to the devilish Gaunt.

First things first and "Needful Things" is certainly and entertaining movie as we watch the residents of Castle Rock manipulated to do things and then the repercussions of these things having wide range effects on the community as things escalate into major trouble. And then there is Max von Sydow who seems to have based his performance on those of Peter Cushing from his Hammer House of Horror days and it certainly works. The combination of these two things along with a likeable cast makes "Needful Things" the entertaining movie that it is.

But maybe it is just me but right from the opening of Leland Gaunt's shop and the strange set up of give a gift require a deed I could spot where the movie was heading from who Gaunt was to the escalating troubles and of course Sheriff Pangborn playing detective. Don't get me wrong as it didn't stop me from enjoying "Needful Things" but I sat there basically watching for the inevitable happen whilst enjoying how things escalated.

What this all boils down to is that "Needful Things" is an entertaining movie with a nicely evolving story but it is also a movie which is kind of predictable and so you end up watching half expecting things to happen which they inevitably do.