Review by Dan Skip Allen
The Fall season brings Halloween, and with Halloween comes all kinds of horror films. Grimcutty takes a different spin on what people consider horror, similar to the new to-be horror classic Smile, which is in cinemas now.
Grimcutty plays off of parents' fears regarding the safety of their children and themselves. A mommy blogger comes up with the idea to take away electronic devices from her children to prevent anything bad from happening to them or their children after a bad encounter with her own children where they see a demon. This demon is the embodiment of their fear.
Asha (Sara Wolfkind) is your average high school teenager, hanging out with her friends and texting them at home. Her brother isn't much different than her. He is pretty normal as well. He plays video games on his computer and hangs out in his room doing stuff kids do. When fear of children who start cutting themselves starts getting around their parents (Shannyn Sossaman, Usman Ally), they start to take precautions. They take all the electronic devices from their children, but this doesn't go over well with their daughter.
If we know anything about technology, we know not having it at our disposal is rough. It's called FOMO: the fear of missing out. We can't stand not knowing what's going on in our lives via social media. I, for one, wouldn't know what to do without my phone and laptop, that's for sure.
The writer/director John Ross does a great job creating an atmosphere where missing our technology creates a real sense of loss. Teens are glued to their phones, so not having them at their disposal is generally a frightening proposition. The whole idea behind this film relies on this fear. And to some extent, it works. This idea isn't fun to think about. Throw in horror tropes, and you have a decent film with an interesting premise.
The cast, including the teens, all do a good job in this movie. They play along with this idea terrifically. This film could have gone down a campy road with a creature chasing after them, but it has a realistic approach with some genuine scares. The mix of different types of horror films plays into the characters' performances very nicely. I would be concerned if I had kids and there was a so-called killer on the loose, even if it were psychological.
Grimcutty proves the fear of losing our phones and computers is real, even though it takes a fantastical way of depicting it in the film. The psychological nature mixed with the killer aspect was a nice mixture of horror tropes. The actors played along very well in their performances. They could have phoned them in, but they didn't. They took the material seriously, and it showed in the end result. The director captured the right feel for this genre, and as a Hulu movie around Halloween, it'll work to scare kids and adults alike.
Grimcutty is now streaming on Hulu.