YMMV: Needful Things

  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: As per Gaunt, "Oral sex gives me amnesia."
  • Complete Monster: Leland Gaunt is a very different kind of a monster villain, a genial and well-spoken owner of a little novelty shop that just happens to have your heart's greatest desire in stock, which he's willing to sell it to you for a paltry sum and a little favor, a harmless prank to play on your neighbor. What you don't know is that your "needful thing" is in fact a malevolent charm that will make you paranoid and obsessed over it and drive you into murderous insanity, and all the harmless little pranks are designed to thrive on old grudges and insecurities, exploit all the dirty secrets your neighbors (and you) have and stir up all the incipient feuds, turning people against each other until your whole town tears itself apart with weapons that Mr. Gaunt helpfully supplies. Even if you're spared by the slaughter and general madness, it is only so you could realize that you're partially responsible for it and kill yourself. And Mr. Gaunt will just stand there at the window of his little shop, savouring chaos and death, like he'd done countless times before all across the world.
  • Moral Event Horizon: It is impossible to like Mr. Gaunt at all once eleven year old Brian Rusk kills himself and Gaunt takes note of it with pleasure.
  • Nausea Fuel: At one point, Gaunt prepares to eat a rat caught in a trap, driving a thumbnail into its belly and letting the intestines ooze out.
    • The fight between Wilma and Nettie is drawn out in excruciatingly gory detail but narrated in a fairly bored tone.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Many fans agree that Max von Sydow's performance as Gaunt is the best reason to watch the movie adaptation. (Although obviously he has a LOT more participation than one scene...)