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RELEASED: 2010, Cert. 18
RUNNING TIME: Approx. 90 mins
DIRECTOR: John V Soto
PRODUCER: Deidre Kitcher
SCREENPLAY: Anthony Egan & John V Soto
MUSIC: Jamie Blanks
Michael Dorman as Ben
Travis Fimmel as Marcus
Jessica Marais as Kandi
Tahyna Tozzi as Mary
Trilvy Glover as Isabel
FILM ONLY REVIEW
Ben, who is studying at college, inherits a mysterious box from his recently deceased father.
When the box goes missing, some of Ben's friends die in quite horrible and unexplained circumstances. When Marcus, his estranged older brother turns up, his initial reunion with Ben is rather frosty as they have issues with one another, but Marcus is willing to let bygones be bygones, and helps Ben try to uncover the apparently ancient mysteries of the box.
As the bodies pile up, Ben and Marcus realise they too are in danger if they don't sharpen up their wits.
Needle is an Australian film, which I was quite looking forward to watching, as for the most part, I am usually impressed with cinematic productions from down under.
The film starts in a similar way to many others of its kind, introducing us to a small group of friends on a college campus. Ben seems reasonably genial, as do his pals, but once the box appears on the scene....then goes missing from under his bed where Ben has been hiding it, life takes on a few twists and turns outside of normal college life.
Right from the beginning, Needle just didn't do it for me. The acting is barely mediocre (the best of a bad bunch being Travis Fimmel as Marcus), and the dialogue leaves a tremendous amount to be desired. I found large swathes of the actors' speech to be indistinct, but I don't think it really mattered, simply because they weren't saying anything worth hearing.
This film is incredulous in its lack of originality, as it runs along the route of many old Hammer Horrors from the 1960s and 1970s, the only difference being that Needle doesn't have that quaint sort of charm which was inherent in most Hammer movies....nor any charm of its own. I didn't find the concept of an intricately carved ancient box creeping into a modern-day college student's life particularly convincing, as it didn't lend itself well to the social and educational setting of the film.
There is a bit of gore present in Needle, but nothing I haven't already seen before. There is also what some people may perceive as a twist close to the end, but for me, that twist was pretty obvious. OK I didn't know who the bad guy would turn out to be, but it didn't matter in the slightest, simply because the suspense levels created in the film are below zero.
Needle didn't come across to me as a spine-chilling journey into the unknown. It merely limped along in a somewhat bitty, dull fashion, down a path travelled much better by so many other films. I think the only reason I was able to sit through it without falling asleep or pressing the eject button, could have been that it isn't a long film. I merely emitted a sigh of blessed relief when it was over and the closing credits rolled.
This film is so obviously made on a very tight budget, and I can't imagine why on earth anybody involved in its creation could possibly feel that it has any entertainment value whatsoever. There have over the decades been some brilliant low budget films made, but this isn't one of them.
I'm trying hard to find something positive to say about Needle, but after racking my brains inside out, I declare that the only passable bit about it is probably the music, and that isn't great either....being a typical score usually present in this type of horror/mystery, which is orchestral, coming across as urgent at the right moments and quiet at the other right moments.
I have little or no idea how much Needle cost to make, but I feel it would have been better if those who financed the project had spent their hard-earned cash elsewhere.
In summary, Needle is one of the most boring, un-moving, dreary, poorly constructed, badly acted, uninteresting films I've ever seen which lacks even the most basic elements that a suspense/horror should.
At the time of writing, Needle can be purchased on Amazon as follows:-
New: from £2.46 to £21.99
Used: from £1.49 to £21.99
Some items on Amazon are available for free delivery within the UK, but where this doesn't apply, a £1.26 charge should be added to the above figures.
Thanks for reading!
~~ Also published on Ciao under my CelticSoulSister user name ~~