Thinner | Chicago Reader

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This 1996 gross-out chiller based on Stephen King's novel is the story of an overweight lawyer (Robert John Burke) who negligently runs down a woman and has a curse put on him by her father. Joe Mantegna, a client of Burke's, launches a counterrevenge scheme that's lousy with male bonding and misogyny. Thinner is obsessed with the rapidly changing prosthetics on Burke as he eats compulsively but still loses weight, and the creepiness builds as director Tom Holland (Fright Night, Child's Play) emphasizes degenerating male bodies and exaggerates the sounds of Burke's futile chewing and swallowing. By never directly confronting its suggestion that female sexuality is the cause of all evil and misfortune in this story, the movie intensifies the threat of that idea. Like many King stories, this movie is overplotted, anticlimactic, and infested with trite minor characters. Nevertheless it's one of the more daring products to bear King's imprint because it does little to disguise its disgust with heterosexuality and its fascination with homosexuality.

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