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Social Media Horror
Asha Chaundry, a teenage girl dependent on social media, finds herself and her family entangled in a violent social media trend. As dangerous events begin occurring seemingly related to social media, Asha and her friends refuse to take precautions for their own safety. They convince themselves there is no real danger in order to stay on their social media. The message being, parents must learn to listen and understand their kids if they have any chance of keeping them safe.
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There have been several horror films based on social media, but not many of them have used the influence of social media on young children and adolescents as their footing. Most films of this nature have scary things happening directly on social media, like haunted chatrooms and haunted websites. ‘Grimcutty’ uses the addicting influence of social media on kids as one of the key components to progress the plot and build suspense. At first glance, this film seems to be another cheesy horror movie being pumped out for October. However, the atypical premise proves to be intriguing and blends well with the horror/suspense genre. Movies that tackle unique and uncommon subject matter are a tossup, but ‘Grimcutty’ was able to craft a compelling narrative. Perhaps not an instant classic, but an admirable entry in a stale horror genre.
‘Grimcutty’ – A Surprisingly Frightening Creature
The titular character, Grimcutty, does not appear all that menacing at first glance. His appearance looks cartoonish, and while it is creepy, it isn’t all that scary. He somewhat resembles Bughuul from the ‘Sinister’ series starring Ethan Hawke, which helps. He doesn’t appear menacing at all until the moment he starts to charge forward. His crooked walk and chilling face getting closer and closer are surprisingly frightening, and even more so when he catches you in a jump scare. Suddenly you’re not grabbing some more popcorn; you’re trying to find the remote to shut it off! He possesses an incommunicable and unnerving element that will give you some genuine jolts through the movie.
The character, Grimcutty, gains his terrifying effect through excellent cinematography and scoring. Though some of the camera work was common for horror films, the over-the-shoulder shots during chase scenes were a fantastic way to get the audience’s blood pumping, especially when paired with solid scoring during Grimcutty’s appearances. Music by Sara Barone was fantastic during intense sequences and made the very first scene extremely memorable with a blood-curdling score. In the horror genre, a slasher is only as good as he is depicted. Writer/director John Ross does well in creating a frightening character that comes alive.
Meaningful Embedded Commentary
The last thing you would expect or look for in a horror film is a meaningful and commentating subplot, but ‘Grimcutty’ does a good job of tying everything together. The film explores the unhealthy influence that social media can have on children and adolescents. It also focuses on the distance parents can feel from their kids as social media dominates their lives. As the film progresses, we can interpret that the character of Grimcutty represents the sinister parts of social media and technology for parents. The part where they lack understanding of their child’s connection to social media and the fear of what they don’t understand.
Throughout the years, many horror films have completely disregarded storytelling in favor of gimmicky slashers and trendy subjects. The most some movies have to offer is an eye-catching poster and an hour and a half of weak jumpscares, and people slowly walking through dark rooms. ‘Grimcutty’ is not completely exempt from some of these cliches, but it makes a great effort to build a story out of a unique and relevant topic with substance. Perhaps this film can serve as an example of how far a captivating plot goes, even in a horror film.
Where It Fell Short
Several actors in supporting roles fell short of the mark. While their performances do not significantly hinder the film, several scenes are off-putting. Dialogue that’s supposed to create suspense does not translate into the actors’ performances. The facial expressions and body language were not convincing enough. In the horror genre, a big part of drawing in the audience is convincing acting, and a few weak links can cause viewers to disengage.
The film briefly touched on particular dark subjects involving adolescents and the internet that could have been expanded more to make the movie darker and more thought-provoking. Had this been done, this movie could have been more layered and mixed some dark subject matter with horror to give the audience a genuinely uncomfortable and frightening experience.
While this film had its flaws, it was a solid horror flick for the month of October. It is not a typical horror film, which is what makes it special. Many horror movies can lean too much on cheap scares while sacrificing a solid and substantial plot. A movie like this that combines horror with substance can intrigue and effectively capture an audience more than a senseless slasher film. ‘Grimcutty’ is now streaming on Hulu.
Cast: Sarah Wolfkind, Shannyn Sossamon, Usman Ally
Director: John Ross
Cinematography: Bridger Nielson | Producer(s): David Brooks, Jenna Cavelle, Arbi Pedrossian | Editor: Chester Howard | Music: Sara Barone
By Alvaro Devora
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Alvaro Devora is an aspiring writer/director whose life revolves around the creation and appreciation of literary and cinematic content. Though still new to the industry, Alvaro is also passionate about discussing important and substantial topics in Film and TV, and has found the perfect place to do so at The Hollywood Insider. Being an anti-gossip media network and taking pride in meaningful content, The Hollywood Insider is a company that Alvaro can take pride in writing for and continue nurturing his passion.