When the quaint and quiet seaside village of Castle Rock, Maine mysteriously erupts in violence, the only connection seems to be newcomer Leland Gaunt, played expertly by Max von Sydow, and his unusual antique shop in Columbia Pictures’ new horror film NEEDFUL THINGS. Ed Harris, as Sheriff Alan Pangborn, finds himself engulfed in chaos in a small town gone mad where residents turn on each other seeking revenge for some very hateful pranks. BASED ON the novel by Stephen King, NEEDFUL THINGS is an exceptionally well-made movie. The plot itself has great promise, which is nipped in the bud by the graphic depictions of some of the more evil pranks and the resulting harm (plus the abundance of offensive language–profanity in particular). Regrettably, the content is too graphic and offensive to be recommended. Christians will be offended by a blasphemous remark about Jesus Christ and a negative portrayal of the Church as a whole. Unfortunately, in this story the Church offers no remedy for the problems confronting the townspeople. The message in the ending, however, is right on target: there are consequences to sin. Individuals have a choice in every decision and action they take and are responsible for the outcome. No one has to be a slave to their desires, the choice remains their own.
(LLL, VVV, N, S, Ab, O, M, B) 81 obscenities, 33 profanities, blasphemy, & numerous vulgarities; violent murders, shooting, a dog killed and skinned, violent arguing & fighting, & churches blown up & burned; implied fornication and partial upper female nudity; Catholics & Baptists portrayed as hating each other; white-magic mentioned in reference to the devil's influence on townspeople; hate, revenge, deceit, theft, & gambling; but, by film's end all evil is exposed & people choose to confess wrongs & reject the evil influence, and an excellent point is made on man's ultimate choice between good & evil, as well as our responsibility for our actions & selfish choices.