Friday, August 29, 2014

Film Review: Thinner (1996)

Thinner (Review)
United States/1996
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"...holds up as fun and creative after all of those years..."

After obese lawyer Billy Halleck (Robert John Burke) negligently kills an elderly gypsy woman, Billy finds himself cursed to lose 40 pounds a week...

Thinner is a simple yet entertaining story. The story continues to follow Billy after he kills the elderly woman and escapes any criminal charges. He's cursed by the gypsy's father and begins to lose weight -- too much weight. Anyway, he finally becomes convinced about the curse and hunts down the man that placed it on him. It feels a little rushed and abrupt during the final act, but I thought the ending was great.

Thinner is a body horror film. I didn't find any of it horrifying or even gross, but it was pretty damn cool. The concept was really interesting, and the execution makes for a very entertaining ride. It was a fantastic transformation to watch. There's also some cheeky humor blended into the film, which helps create variety and a handful of chuckle-worthy moments. There are some scenes that don't have much logic, though. In fact, the entire concept doesn't seem very rational; I mean, not to absolve Billy of his responsibility or anything, obviously he's guilty, but this old gypsy guy kills several people because his daughter wandered into the streets without looking both ways? I mean, you have gypsy powers, maybe you could just torture him with nightmarish visuals of guilt until he confesses?

The acting was good from most of the cast. I think Robert John Burke did very well as the lead. Kari W├╝hrer was bad, though; her dialogue, her shouting... it was all bad. Otherwise, the film is a standard horror film. The cinematography holds up, and the music is good. The special effects and makeup are great, although it does occasionally look like the fat suit might fall apart at the seams. The high definition version available on Netflix Instant is great, too. (it expired, oops!) Director Tom Holland does well in executing the creative theme; I especially enjoyed the fast and consistent pacing, and great balance of body horror and humor; the film does lose momentum and focus towards the end, though.

Overall, Stephen King's Thinner is a very good film. It's a very fun and entertaining horror film. The story holds up as fun and creative after all of those years, the direction is great, and its all-around well-made. The story runs out of steam towards the end and there's a lack of rationale, but it's definitely worth watching.

Score: 7/10
Parental Guide: Some strong violence and blood, some very brief nudity and sexuality.

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