Grimcutty – Hulu develops a whole new online terror


Photo by Hulu

Grimcutty is streaming on Hulu.

Ben Kaiser, Reporter

October brought several horrors back to the big screen or streaming to the small screen. Chucky has another season on SyFy. Hellraiser has a new remake on Hulu; meanwhile, Michael Myers ended his new reboot trilogy. Marvel Studios has a “Werewolf by Night” special, and Hocus Pocus made a comeback after 29 years. It was a busy month for killers and slashers.  

Hulu also has a new horror for the masses to dread – phone apps! 

Asha Chaudhry (Sara Wolfkind, “Love All You Have Left”) is an inspiring teenage influencer whose videos are mostly her whispering annoyingly into the mic (bleh). Her parents, Leah and Amir (Shannyn Sossamon, “A Knight’s Tale,” and Usman Ally, Netflix’s “A Series of Unfortunate Events,” respectively), are startled to hear news of a growing phone challenge app spreading throughout the town. While the challenges are never specified, the app has a ghastly-looking pale face with red eyes on the screen. The challenges involve self-harm and throw every parent into dread, leading to sheltering their children from phones, tablets, laptops, etc. 

However, despite her parents’ protective attempts, Asha begins seeing a menacing figure in the shadows resembling the Grimcutty app. It attacks her, yet no one can see it but her. While her parents fear she’s addicted to technology and the app, Asha tries to figure out the mystery of the origin of the Grimcutty app without her phone and computer. Her journey will lead to a strangely oblivious woman (Alona Tal as Melinda Jaynes, CBS “SEAL Team”) running a “detox” blog connected to Grimcutty. 

No matter what she discovers, Grimcutty returns, again and again, harming her and sending her parents into further hysteria at the same time. As the parents all fear their children are next to play the app, Asha learns that it’s not the app but the parents themselves feeding the monster.  

Photo courtesy of Hulu

“Grimcutty” is directed by John Ross. There’s not a lot of information about Ross other than writing and directing episodes for horror shows and shorts, like “Bite Size Horror.” “Grimcutty” is his first full-length film. 

So, what exactly is a Grimcutty? – Hell if I know. You’d think with this kind of movie, eventually, somebody would show up with a detailed history of the creature, including its weaknesses, legends based on it, likes/dislikes, ideas of first dates, etc.  

Instead, the Grimcutty just sorta exists. No one uncovers how it came to be or why it’s attacking now. Did it always exist, or was it released after centuries of being imprisoned? Is it a demon or a god? 

And where did it go afterward? After Asha convinces her parents that the Grimcutty is real, it’s gone. No more children are attacked, and everything returns to normal. 

And there’s no answer to who started the phone app – the very thing that started everything. It’s discussed to death that it’s an extreme challenge app, but the challenges are never brought up. When they do show the app, it’s just a freeze-frame close-up of Grimcutty’s face. 

What I really did like about this movie was how it wasn’t about a cursed app. Instead of logging into the Grimcutty app and damning yourself, the app is just a red herring for the parents to go crazy and fear the worst. 

And that is how it gets you – by your parents’ fear. I have to say, it’s a lot better than having a bunch of dumb kids uploading an app that they know kills you. And then sitting for two hours listening to them cry and say they’re sorry for doing it.  

I think that’s even the best part – the parents do think that their kids are getting involved with the Grimcutty app. Asha’s parents are introduced as already being paranoid about their kids’ use of the internet. The Grimcutty app makes them worse, and things only escalate when Asha is sneaking on the internet behind their backs to learn more about Grimcutty. 

And naturally, the more paranoid and afraid they are for their children – the stronger they make Grimcutty. 

There’s another horror film that “Grimcutty” reminds me of – 2014’s “The Babadook.” No, not because both have silly kid names; that’s a complete coincidence (I think). In “The Babadook,” the Babadook entity is manifested by the main character’s guilt. The entity torments her until she confronts her issues, even accepting the Babadook as a part of her.

The Babadook poster.

The Grimcutty works similarly except it’s created by parental fear. Babadook is a lot clearer in its purpose, though, since it torments the main character until it forces her to confront her guilt. Grimcutty just shows up to cut you up and smile.  

One big problem I noticed with the entity is that the film is too quick to show off the creature. In the first scene, the audience gets a good look at its weird face. So after the third time, it is attacking kids, it’s no longer scary and is just this goofy-looking monster. 

 I wanted to like “Grimcutty,” especially with the idea of the entity existing because of the overprotective parents’ paranoia. But the movie just comes off as disappointing and dull. It also ends with more questions than answers. Maybe that’s in anticipation of a sequel, but I’m not holding my breath for another one.  

“Grimcutty” is streaming on Hulu.