Far better than the Hellraiser rip-off I expected.
The opening is not particularly startling, but it intruigues enough to grip, and when we fast forward to the present and meet main character Ben and his friends, they're all just well characterised and played enough to stand out from the usual slasher fodder. As a result, you care just a little more when someone bites the dust.
Archeology student Ben has pretty much moved on after the death of his father when he gets an unwelcome visit from his estranged brother Marcus trying to make amends, and receives one last heirloom - a strange box that no-one can figure out. Almost as quickly as it appears, it's been stolen, and people he cares about start dying in nasty, very bloody ways...
Needle is interesting because it plays the murder mystery card more heavily than most slashers, which are normally just concerned with ways to up the body count. Instead Needle has the heroes pursue the case while they try to deal with their sibling issues, in between brutal murder scenes.
The plot device is fun and allows for some inventive demises, and the leads play their roles better than usual. In addition, the plot is nicely staged - and while it's not completely unpredictable it has enough nice moments and red herrings to keep you very entertained.
A fine example of modern Aussie horror, and an above average 'college kids' slasher flick.