Monday, October 10, 2022

Grimcutty, on Hulu

He is sort of the newer, hipper, deadlier version of the Slender Man. Fittingly for Halloween season, he is also the latest creepy internet meme to get his own horror movie. Naturally, he likes to kill kids it targets on the internet, but its power comes from an ironic source in John Ross’s Grimcutty, which premieres today on Hulu.

Asha Chaudry’s younger brother Kamran is a talented jazz musician, so he is understandably her parent’s favorite, especially after she quit the track team to focus on posting ASMR videos. Still, they freak out like concerned parents should when they read reports of the Grimcutty phenomenon. They aren’t quite sure what it is, but apparently someone or something using the Grimcutty online persona has convinced several teens to cut themselves and even commit suicide. Judging from the prologue, one little boy even stabbed his mother, because of his Grimcutty visions.

Initially, Asha and her friends are convinced this is merely the Satanic Panic of the 2020’s. Unfortunately, her father is particularly susceptible to this kind of paranoia, because he was already insisting on phone-free family outings. However, when Grimcutty starts attacking her, she realizes the urban legend is a very real threat to her life. Along with her school’s online queen bee, she will try to trace the Grimcutty hysteria back to its source.

has a clever wrinkle that will probably make a lot of teens sit their parents down to watch it, like a reverse afterschool special. Frankly, it arguably writes a new set of survival rules, just for the film, which it scrupulously adheres to. The problem is Grimcutty looks too much like an old school Syfy original movie bogeyman.

Ross still maintains the tension skillfully, capitalizing on all the counterproductive mania Grimcutty generates. Sara Wolfkind certainly portrays Asha as a believably annoying teen, but she also develops some really endearing sibling chemistry with Callan Farris, playing her younger brother. Shannyn Sossamon gives viewers a truly model horror movie mom, who can actually figure things out. How novel. Usman Ally practically becomes a secondary villain as her crazed father—and quite effectively so.

Despite the twist,
Grimcutty definitely reflects the growing distrust people have with social media and tech companies. It is not hard to see parallels between Grimcutty’s online terror and their real-life censoring of customers they disagree with and facilitation of cancelation-bullying. This is where a lot of our collective anxiety is now focused, so it is going to seep into films like Grimcutty, even if it was not the filmmakers’ conscious intention. That undercurrent also helps make Grimcutty so watchable, despite its so-so monster design work. Recommended for horror fans who can appreciate its neurotic dimensions, Grimcutty starts streaming today (10/10) on Hulu.