Thinner (1996) Review

Thinner caught my eye from the synopsis in the tv magazine. This isn’t usually the way a film draws my attention. Usually I watch a movie because of the trailer or because an actor I really like is in the film. Very rarely will the film persuade me to hit record on my DVR because of the synopsis alone but this film managed that. The synopsis was; A lawyer finds he is losing weight everyday and must try to find a way to stop it before it’s too late.

It doesn’t seem like the most engrossing of synopsis but I got sucked in by the potential for cool effects and a decent scary film, even if this does scream “B-Movie.” I thought the idea that this guy would keep getting thinner and his desperate attempts to reverse whatever causes it could be a good way to kill two hours. It even helped that the film starts and the words “based on a novel by Stephen King” flashed up on the screen. I loved Stand By Me and The Shawshank Redemption so this boded well.

Movies based on Stephen King novels have a good, entertaining, track record.

Thinner didn’t just refer to the main character though… it was also a comment on the film’s budget. The film seemed a lot like a TV-Movie. The actors were unknown, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but they weren’t very good. Joe Mantegna was the only actor I actually recognised and he played the most clichéd of Italian Mobsters since Fat Tony from The Simpsons, who he actually provides the voice for.

The cool special effects I was hoping for were at best a fat suit for the main character at the start and then some very good make-up and shadowing combined with the main character being very weak and feeble. I was expecting more. I wanted some gory, disgusting, B-Movie attempt at Thinner, really showing the extent of this guy’s plight. I didn’t want him to just walk slower and talk in a husky voice.

Poor special effects, unknown actors and clichéd characters seemed to be the best this film could produce.

The actual story itself didn’t really save the film either. The cause of this man’s misfortune is a gypsy curse and he then spends the rest of the film trying to reverse the curse. I don’t know whether it was trying for a tense, supernatural thriller but it actually delivers a cheesy, laughable and very cheap looking movie which doesn’t have any tension but just bad special effects and silly moments. The film seems to lose the focus of the story, the man getting thinner, and instead focus on the war between the “white man” and the gypsy.

The film needed a little bit more money and care. The acting should have been better, the story a little bit more engaging but most of all the movie needs really good special effects. The story drew me in because the thought of this man getting thinner and trying to solve that problem could have been a cool film but the movie doesn’t have enough going for it to really pull that off.

Overall, a really good concept that seems to come from some strong source material provided by Stephen King but this lacks the money, effects and acting talent to really deliver what could have been a very good B-Movie at least. Instead we get a dodgy story, poor acting and disappointing effects.

Rating 1.5

(1 – Awful, 2 – Average, 3 – Good, 4 – Great, 5! – Must See)

I wanted the film to go further than decent make-up and a man acting weak!
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