Thing [1982]

Stephen King adaptations are strictly hit-or-miss propositions, and this supernatural thriller from 1993 is definitely a "miss," based on one of King's lesser novels and starring Max von Sydow as the evil proprietor of a small-town antique shop named "Needful Things." That's the place where anyone can go to find the one thing they cherish the most (the town's aging jock finds his old, high-school letterman's jacket there, for example), but of course there's a price for such priceless keepsakes. Yep, that's right ... von Sydow is Satan, and his customers pay for "needful things" with their souls. The sheriff (Ed Harris) catches onto this hellish predicament, and, well ... let's just say things go downhill from there, with von Sydow delivering sardonic wisecracks as he wreaks devilish havoc on the town. Lots of stuff gets blown to bits, by which time this movie has long since worn out its welcome. Harris and von Sydow do their best to liven up the dreary scenario (directed by Charlton Heston's son, Fraser), but this is strictly for die-hard King fans, and even then the recommendation is marginal. --Jeff Shannon

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