In John V. Soto’s Needle, a killer uses an 18th century box with extraordinary and deathly powers to rein havoc on a group of friends at Saint Mary’s College. The box is the size of a jewelry case and when a picture of someone is put into a secret slot, a wax figure of the person is created to where the killer can stick pins, break off limbs and just make life miserable for the person the figure represents.
We get introduced to the box when student Ben Rutherford inherits the relic from his recently deceased father. But before you can say, “Oh my god, I am bored”, the device is stolen and soon an unidentified killer begins to use the machine on Ben’s group of friends leaving them butchered, blind and bleeding with nothing more than a few pin pricks.
Ben (Michael Dorman) and his brother Marcus (Travis Fimmel) figure out the sinister nature of the device and begin a search for the killer while attempting to warn their friends of their impending deadhood.
Needle is a get-in-line movie. It got in line with stereotypical characters, a half-descent story that fails to execute on the premise and a bunch of forgettable characters and situations leading up to their eventual demise. And the story of the sins of the father coming back to haunt the children was just…well – stupid.
This is ok if you don’t aspire to be anything more than another horror film entry with above average DVD cover art. But Needle drops the ball by taking the fun out of the idea. And the ending which reveals to us the evil Wizard behind the curtain, was poorly played and filled with a bunch of ‘now why would they do that’ situations and discussions.
I really wanted to like Needle. I sure as hell want the device that was used in the film (I have a neighbor that might find himself with a few less limbs if I had the opportunity). But throughout the running time, I was just bored. The kills were ok (we loved the hand coming off), but we recognize that within a week, this film will find itself into the recesses of the brain where you can’t distinguish this title from any of the other horror-of-the-week type entries.