The Thinning Movie Review

Written by Giuseppe Infante

Released by Legendary Digital and YouTube Red

Directed by Michael Gallagher
Written by Michael Gallagher and Steve Greene
2016, 90 minutes, Not Rated
Released on October 12th, 2016

Peyton List as Laina Michaels
Logan Paul as Blake Redding
Lia Marie Johnson as Ellie Harper
Matthew Glave as Governer Dean Redding


In a not-too-distant future, America has a yearly test for children in kindergarten through 12th grade called The Thinning. Every country handles their population control differently, and in America, one’s intelligence is what keeps them alive. The bottom tier of the exam grades determines if one will be executed or not. As the government begins to reveal its crooked persona, several students begin to unravel the mystery behind The Thinning and how it truly functions amongst society.

Expectations are crucial when viewing a movie, especially when one is to scrutinize with a subjective lens. Looking at the final product of YouTube’s full-length feature, The Thinning, perplexity resonates due to the allure of such a feeble yet attractive film. Through the ripples of imperfection, my inner voice from my formative years truly appreciates this film on a level my present fatherly self doesn’t.

With it’s a derivative yet somewhat interesting concept, the film’s most significant flaw is the tone. As the characters develop, they have a substantial amount of affluence and the actors are of premium caliber—this isn’t the issue. Regardless of the academic and apocalyptic setting, the dialogue and narrative suck the dread from the film and leave viewers with what feels like a made-for-television CW network flick. There are wicked government members (again), armed guards with masked faces (again), and advanced technology (but not enough to save everyone) that surround this grim atmosphere, but the execution of the filmmaker’s final product does not scare or thrill to this thematic cinema’s potential. With the addition of a more serious tone and some sheer brutality, this could’ve been a much better (and scarier) experience.

Although not a total bore, The Thinning is a one-and-done last resort late night flick. This wasn’t bad. Don’t take my criticisms too far out of context. The logic may not be the absolute best, but the narrative flows the entire duration. The movie will keep your attention and you’ll want to know how the film ends; and believe me, the ending is the best part of this teen-pop thriller romp. If you are a teenager or young adult of the Millennial generation, this movie might be right up your alley.

Through clichés, plot-holes and a melodramatic teenage tone, The Thinning is still an enjoyable experience. This is not a cinematic masterpiece by any means, but it does stand proudly and boldly through its youthful good looks and charm. One can still watch this film and extract central themes revolving government corruption and population control, then begin a dialogue in applying the happenings here to the human condition and society today.


Movie: 2.5 Star Rating Cover

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