Needle and an Honest Portrait: Film Review


A lot of independent horror films have graced our screens in recent years but the 2010 film, Needle, showed me how the formula isn’t always perfect. I had a lot of hope for this film before hand as I had read a few good reviews but I can safely say that this film was not the one that I have been searching for all this time. I mean, ‘The Babadook’ was a great piece of cinematic horror; naturally I thought that an indie film from the same part of the world might satisfy my craving for the otherworldly – oh, how wrong.

The acting was drab, the characters seemed incomplete and the story just kind of bombed about midway through. I had no interest in the characters and I really tried, honest. I think the point in which I realised that I was in for a long night was an initial scene where I was introduced to a couple of the protagonists friends. I say the protagonist, because I genuinely do not remember any of the character’s names – they were pretty forgettable. The two friends happened to be lesbians; ordinarily this would not be a problem, but it was an issue because the whole narrative seemed to freeze before I was assaulted by scene after scene of them making out. Why would they not just act like everyone else? Why did they have to be putting on a show? It made no sense. As you can imagine I was disappointed and annoyed at the lack of script work and the lack of consideration for the two characters sexual preference. Was this written by a horny version of myself years previously? If so, I apologise..

The film moved on and the narrative  progressed and although I was not impressed, I found myself paying attention to what was happening. I was amazed because here I was complaining to my girlfriend about the film in one instance, before instantly telling her to be quiet while I was fed secrets that I never saw coming. Still, by the end I felt like I had wasted a part of my life, not because the film was poor, but because it appeared to have so much potential before it failed miserably.

Take the device for instance,  Le Vaudou Mort; The image of the device is above and it’s a pretty original concept and if used correctly this film could of been a lot of fun. In fact, in my opinion, the device is the thing that saved this film but also it’s major downfall. Needle used this prop as a means to create a murder mystery and I believe that this is what kept me engaged – I just wanted to find out who was committing all these horrifying acts. The negative factor was that  Le Vaudou Mort was not needed in the film. I’m sure people have been committing voodoo related atrocities for years without the need of this machine.

Regardless of what I surmise, Needle picked up an award at an underground Australian film festival and screened at Screamfest so somebody saw the potential in it. Maybe you will like it, maybe not. One thing is for sure – this is not the holy grail of horror.

On to the next!

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