Directed by Tom Holland [Other horror films: Fright Night (1985), Child’s Play (1988), Two-Fisted Tales (1992, segment ‘King of the Road’), The Langoliers (1994), Tom Holland’s Twisted Tales (2014), Rock, Paper, Scissors (2017)]
Thinner’s a book I’ve not read, unlike many other Stephen King novels (technically, Thinner was written under Richard Bachman, but even so), which may play a part in my review. While the movie is mostly enjoyable, there are a few performance issues, and ultimately, I think the film is missing something.
The story starts out well, but after a certain point, I personally think things drag a bit. It doesn’t help that the main character, played by Robert John Burke, came across as overly hammy toward the second half of the film. Near the end, it was definitely a bit much.
Which is one of the biggest problems with the film. Sure, the story is a bit thin (see what I did there?), but if Burke had put in a better, more serious performance, I think I would have liked the flick at least a bit more. As it is, the highlight of the film is really Joe Mantegna (who I know most from both the 1994 comedy Airheads and a long-lasting role in Criminal Minds). Without Mantegna’s presence here, I really don’t think this movie would have been anywhere near as enjoyable. Michael Constantine puts in a solid performance too.
Perhaps it’s because of Burke’s occasionally hammy acting, but the film felt just a bit on the light-hearted side at times. It’s tone didn’t work too well with me, but once Mantegna’s role becomes more a focus toward the end, things start coming together.
On a side-note, while the special effects were moderately decent for most of the film, there was a lengthy dream sequence that was entirely too goofy, and I definitely could have done without.
I’ve seen this once before, and I wasn’t overly amazed. It’s a good flick to sit back and eat popcorn with, but even for the mid-1990’s, which wasn’t the best time for the horror genre, Thinner just felt as though it was lacking. Good ideas in this one, to be sure, but an inconsistent tone and main performance places this one below average.
Thinner was covered by Chucky (@ChuckyFE) and myself on Fight Evil’s tenth podcast, which you can listen to below.