Could have been a great ensemble horror movie, but the film seem to have lost half of it's footage on the cutting floor as most characters are sadly underdeveloped, but Max von Sydow is perfectly cast as a dark minion. The ending is also anti-climatic but somehow I got the feel of an epic Stephen King novel here which usually ain't the case with his adaptations.
IT and the surge of interest in Stephen King movie adaptations may bring much-needed relief for NEEDFUL THINGS, Heston's wickedly funny and well-crafted 1993 film. Max Von Sydow plays Leland Gaunt (aka the Devil) with a perfect mix of suave, glee and menace. Although it loses steam after half-time, witty zingers from Von Sydow keep things fresh: "Don't blame me, blame it on the bossa nova"! Oh and great score too.
Get past the 'Murder She Wrote' tweeness of this adaptation & what you have here is a disturbing, Lovecraftian descent into madness & the power material possessions have over all of us. Max Von Sydow is captivating as the manipulative Leland Gaunt, bringing a touch of his Ming The Merciless role back into play. Beautiful sets help purvey the madness in modern normality but sadly the length lets the film down. B-.