The Thinning Review

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Up until this point, I’ve kind of ignored Youtube Red. I love the idea of having access to original content and advertisement free videos, but as a broke college student, an extra $10 a month for these perks wasn’t in my budget. Then I saw the trailer for The Thinning.

The Thinning, directed by Michael J. Gallagher and produced by Legendary Entertainment, stars Peyton List and Logan Paul. Both actors are famous for their comedic acting. List made her break on Disney Channel, while Paul became famous through Vines. Their performances in this drama thriller are outstanding.

The movie was released in 2016, and tells the story of a Dystopian future. In order to save the world from overpopulation and global warming, each country is required to thin out their population annually. Some countries limit the amount of children parents can have. Others kill off the elderly when they reach a certain age. In America, children from 1st to 12th grade take a standardized test to determine who lives or dies. The students who score in the lowest percentile are terminated.

This story focuses specifically on Laina (Peyton List) and Blake (Logan Paul). After Blake’s former girlfriend is eliminated in the previous year’s “thinning,” Blake intentionally fails the test. Blake also happens to be the governor’s son, who fabricates test scores to save his son. Laina, who is one the most intelligent students, is forced to take Blake’s place in the thinning. Blake and Laina team up to set the thinning right, only to discover a much larger scandal of fabricated test scores and lies.
I think what I love so much about this movie, aside from the suspense, is that it takes standardized testing to the extreme. I have always questioned the immense amount of testing that students are supposed to go through. I always did well with my grades, but I’ve always wanted my education to mean more than a letter or a GPA percentage. There is so much pressure on children to do well. Testing today can determine everything from our grade in a class to where we go to college. It feels like tests can make or break our lives. It isn’t a life or death situation for us, at least not yet, but it does feel that way.

Standardized testing can be unfair, too. In the movie, the children of the rich or the influential parents seemed to magically be spared from the thinning. Who says rich kids today don’t have extra help on the SATs or the ACTs? They can afford tutors, multiple attempts at the exams, and even notes from doctors that give them special testing conditions. To summarize, the current system with standardized testing isn’t working. It’s a problem that this movie hits square on the nose and I love it.

From the first 10 seconds of the trailer, I was hooked. I don’t know if it’s because my college finals are in two weeks or the story was just that good, but I had to see this movie. I would now rank this in my top ten favorite films. It’s safe to say I now have a Youtube Red account and the $10 a month is worth it.

Check out the trailer below:

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