(On Cable TV, April 2019) One of the most wonderful things about Stephen King is he has written so much that you can have yourself a weeks-long marathon of King film adaptations, with a wide variety of quality from the grotesque to the sublime. In that Stephen King Cinematic Universe, Thinner is likely to go unnoticed. Not that it doesn’t have a good hook on its own—what with an obese lawyer accidentally killing a gypsy woman, and her father putting a fatal thinning curse on him. But good hooks aren’t rare in the King oeuvre—what’s more important is the care with which they’re executed and that’s where Thinner loses points. Clearly looking like a mid-tier 1990s film, it’s a horror film made like a horror film, with little intention to aim for anything more. There’s also a very specific aspect to the story’s requirements—the makeup—that would at best be weird, and here feel simply grotesque. Simply put: any story that has a 300-pound man thinning down to skeletal proportions was a tough special effects assignment without top-notch 2010s digital wizardry, and there’s no going around that much of it looks unconvincing, especially in the later stage where makeup is applied to lead actor Robert John Burke’s face in order to create hollow depressions. Then there’s the script, noticeably sillier than other King adaptations even when it does a fine job adapting a weird story. But those things combine make Thinner feel like a minor work—an extended Twilight Zone episode with enough filler required to make it to the end, the point of the film being in the ironic ending. Not unlike the novel, really—King wrote it as Richard Bachman at a time when he was still aiming for airport-grade potboilers. I still enjoyed it, but as a B-movie with a number of excesses rather than a better kind of film. This being said, there’s a lot worse in the King Cinematic Universe—being forgettable isn’t all that bad.