It took me one day before I watched a horror film worse than David Gordon Green’s Halloween Ends. Available to stream on Hulu in the United States and Disney+ internationally, Grimcutty is a genuinely baffling product. One may even wonder how it exists in the first place. Grimcutty is an “internet meme or challenge” (more on that later) that allegedly tells children to cut themselves or kill their parents or themselves. Of course, you’d wonder why on earth anyone would do these things, even if they are addicted to the internet.
It turns out: it’s not an internet meme or challenge. It’s the parents’ ongoing obsession with Grimcutty that feeds the creature’s anger, which haunts the children who see them. The parents don’t believe their child is going crazy. If a parent looks up “Grimcutty” on the internet and finds out more about what the challenge could be, then the creature appears and starts attacking kids. But since Grimcutty is invisible to the parents, it looks like the child is deliberately inflicting harm upon themselves.
This happens to our protagonist, Asha (Sara Wolfkind), whose parents (Shannyn Sossamon and Usman Ally) start to become obsessed with limiting their children’s screen time and Grimcutty. The parents have no idea that it’s worsening the problem and predictably believe that, of course, Asha is going crazy. They don’t see her being stabbed by Grimcutty; they see their daughter cutting herself and harming herself, which prompts the old “I’m not crazy!” adage that propagates the most clichéd of horror movies. Asha wants their parents to understand that
a) Grimcutty is real.
b) She’s not crazy. It’s all Grimcutty’s doing.
c) They’re worsening the problem by thinking about Grimcutty and putting their devices in a “Detox Box.”
But their parents believe that:
a) Grimcutty does not exist. Therefore, Asha is lying to their parents, even though at some point during the movie, her mother realizes, “Hey! My daughter has never told a lie.”
b) Maybe their daughter needs help since Grimcutty doesn’t exist. But since she has never lied all her life, A and B don’t work at all.
c) Too much screen time is bad for our mental health.
They’re right on C, but since it’s revealed that Asha has always been honest with her parents, they should’ve believed her from the start. But since they didn’t, we’re subject to one of the most unintentionally hilarious movies of the year. It’s incredible how nothing works, even with a great concept like the one of an internet challenge pushing kids against their will to inflict harm upon themselves.
Why doesn’t it work? Simple. It complexifies its concept before starting to explain it. Why does it need to be about the parents’ belief in an internet challenge that feeds the creature? It could’ve simply been an internet challenge turned “reality” when Asha finds out that, spoiler alert, Grimcutty exists! And he’s coming for you! But no. Director John Ross’s biggest mistake is devoting the entire responsibility of Grimcutty’s existence through the parents’ lens when the film should be explicitly told through the protagonist’s viewpoint.
It also doesn’t help that the creature of Grimcutty looks horrible. Every time you see him, all you want to do is laugh. He’s poorly designed, and the CGI is even worse, making him the lamest creature of any horror film I’ve seen this year. He looks like the creature you’d see in one of those “mockbusters” from The Asylum, not a severe horror production released on Hulu. As such, none of the scenes involving Grimcutty are scary. Instead, they’re either horribly predictable and/or unintentionally hilarious, especially when the film intercuts to Asha’s point of view (with Grimcutty seen) to her parents (without Grimcutty).
I do not blame the actors for delivering such dreary performances. But, unfortunately, the film had a lousy script from the start, not wanting to keep it as simple as possible and trying so hard to impress with a plot that made no sense. And it’s precisely because of a poor script and lackluster direction from Ross that the acting also fails. I’m confident that Sara Wolfkind is a great actor, and I hope to see her again in another film and television production soon. Still, Asha was such a poorly written (and developed) character that not even the best actor in the world could churn out a good performance. And don’t get me started on Amir (the dad), who begins to get AWOL near the end of the film in what’s likely the most perplexing climax I’ve seen all year. All I can say is this: both Asha and Kamran (Callan Farris) need to call Child Protective Services immediately.
Nothing works in Grimcutty. It’s astounding to see that Hulu (or Disney) would be interested in such a project because it has no redeeming qualities. The plot makes no sense, the creature is hilariously bad, and the acting is lower than B-level. But, of course, if you want a good laugh, by all means. Go on Hulu (or Disney+) and check it out. But if you want something tangible or scary out of your Halloween-driven entertainment, avoid Grimcutty at all costs. You’ll thank me later.
Grimcutty is now available to stream on Hulu in the United States and on Disney+ internationally.