Back in June 2009, the Slender Man seemed to be everywhere. Social media. The local news. Schools. It was the big thing for parents to focus on, and it unfortunately gained life outside of the internet when some students took it too far. Hollywood being Hollywood sought to turn the internet meme into a film almost nine years later, and it wasn’t the hit Screen Gems had hoped it to be earning just $51.7 million at the worldwide box office. Fast forward to 2022. While Slender Man seems to be a thing of the past, Grimcutty seems eager to take its place – for better or worse. The latest horror offering from Hulu is what happens when social media memes and YouTube fads are tossed into a blender in the hopes of making something halfway decent only to leave behind a horrible tasting mess.
Grimcutty, like Slender Man, centers on an online story that quickly becomes a meme. There’s no real explanation as to what caused the Grimcutty, but it’s clear that the parents are terrified of it and willing to do whatever is necessary to protect their kids – even if it (up until that point) hadn’t been an actual issue. Like in real life, the story is driven by hysteria. Parents are terrified of what their kids might do themselves as part of the Grimcutty challenge, something even the kids seem to be unaware of, and quickly begin circulating the story amongst themselves and coming up with a plan to make use of a detox box thanks to a mommy blogger. Because if there’s one way to stop an internet monster, it is to stash all electronics in the detox box… but only if they belong to the kids. As ridiculous as it is, Grimcutty does a pretty bang-up job at capturing the way stories spread online can result in mass hysteria. Nonsensical? Absolutely. But believable? Oh, very much so.
The problem is, though, is that Grimcutty fails on pretty much every other aspect. It tries to be smart; it tries to be witty, and it tries to make its monster terrifying. But Grimcutty is a CGI mess that isn’t any more terrifying than Jack Skellington. It’s hard not to laugh when there’s a computer-generated mess zombie walking toward its victims with a knife in tow. If the script is weak, at least ensure the monster is terrifying enough to make it worthwhile. At least then Grimcutty might’ve been a halfway decent horror movie about social media consumption and learning not to believe in everything posted online. The internet is where kids spend a lot of time these days thanks to school, YouTube, video games, etc. so it makes sense to use the internet as the springboard for the lore. It really does. But then it goes off course, really fast.
Because this is a movie meant to tackle social media and the internet… it was apparently determined it wouldn’t be complete without incorporating ASMR videos into it because, well, internet. Perhaps the most frustrating part of Grimcutty is that it tries to tackle too much regarding trends instead of attempting to build a solid lore concerning its big bad. That’s one thing the film fails miserably at. Grimcutty doesn’t have a solid story foundation. It simply becomes a picture spread around online and, only after hysteria and internet searches regarding it, does the character appear with a knife. What caused it? Who created it? Why is it only visible to some? Is it only impacting a local area or is it worldwide? These are all basic questions that, had they been addressed properly on screen, would’ve made Grimcutty a far more enjoyable film. As it stands, though, Grimcutty is an utter mess that fails to scare or thrill.
Some of the worst horror films often go on to have a cult following. Grimcutty will not be one of those films. There’s bad, but enjoyable, and then bad and unwatchable. Grimcutty falls into the latter category. Those looking for something mindless to keep on in the background might be willing to give it a shot. Otherwise, turn away. Go watch the excellent Hellraiser reboot instead.