- Director:John V. Soto
- Cast:Khan Chittenden , Jane Badler , Michael Dorman, Travis Fimmel, John Jarratt, Jessica Marais, Ben Mendelsohn, Tahyna Tozzi
- Release Date:November 23, 2011
- The Film:3.5
- The Disc:3.0
"...a solid scare-fest..."
Despite usually damning reviews, horror-thrillers like Needle often open at the top spot in the US and various other territories (The Roommate is a recent example). In Australia, however, they struggle to find cinema space, and that's what happened with this local effort from maverick John Soto.
Michael Dorman is a university newshound who inherits an antique box which ends up being a voodoo-like instrument of gruesome murder. Model turned actor Travis Fimmel does a great job as his wise-cracking brother, and Tahyna Tozzi (Beautiful) proves that she can act, while the rest of the cast, including Luke Carroll, Jane Badler, Trilby Glover and Jessica Marais, acquit themselves nicely. Ben Mendelsohn and John Jarratt also pop up briefly. A couple of death sequences are particularly imaginative, and particular kudos must go to the effects department. This is a solid scare-fest, influenced more by Dario Argento than Wes Craven, which should prove a great calling card for the filmmaker.
Shot on the Red Camera by Stephen F. Windon (Fast & Furious 5), the high definition images are perfectly transferred to Blu-ray, and Jamie Blanks' atmospheric music is equally seamless here. Needle's look is literally Los Angeles on the Australian west coast, and Blu-ray does it justice. Special features include a featurette on the making of the film, whilst an extended interview with writer/director John Soto illustrates his influences and approach to making the film.