By Josh Taylor
Grimcutty, a creature feature about an internet meme come to life that terrorizes the kids that share it, is a new film for Hulu as part of their annual Huluween. Director John Ross and actors Sara Wolfkind and Usman Ally sat down with Creepy Kingdom to talk about the film before it premieres on the streaming service.
John Ross isn’t new to creature features. He previously worked on Crypt TV’s “The Thing in the Apartment and has done several other films within the genre, but what makes Grimcutty unique is it’s connection to modern technology and how information is shared. “When you're making a horror film, there is always horror in the time that you're writing in. I wanted to integrate all of the things about the modern world. Smartphones are where horror mythology is at in the modern age.” Ross also wrote the film and saw how horror has evolved. He wasn’t looking to create something that felt like a period piece. He stated, “Online challenges and creepypastas. Those steer the cultural zeitgeist in a certain direction.” While playing in the realm of smartphones and internet memes, Ross is also aware that there is a risk in making anything that features technology or current trends as it can easily date a film within just a few years. He reiterated to us that “The Ring features dated VHS technology, but there's a certain nostalgia factor when you watch it now. I hope our film is timeless and that people will remember it down the road in a similar way.”
One of the benefits of creating a film like Grimcutty, in part thanks to its budget size, is that the monster itself is practical. “I knew that I wanted a creature that was more like a puppet that was really in your face and there physically. Everybody who worked on it was up to the task.” The large-scale puppet used on set was something that both helped actors perform and became a challenge. Sara Wolfkind, who plays the lead role of Asha in Grimcutty, noted, “ At first, it was easy to act afraid of Grimcutty.” The monster is much larger than your average puppet. It’s face is frightening. It looks like a mix between the popular Momo meme that swept across social media and the Babadook. For Wolfkind, she didn’t see him as that though. “As production went along I had to think that it's a monster and not a guy in a suit. Joel Hebner is in such a nice guy, but I have to pretend it’s not him.”
Wolfkind’s experience on set was also a positive one. She loved the experience of working in horror. “I love screaming. I like these high stakes situations, especially with the special effects and blood involved.” For veteran actor Usman Ally, this was his first creature feature. “I've done a lot of comedy and, and drama. In a creature feature things move quickly both on the page, but also on the day when you're shooting it. As an actor, have to let go and trust that the story is being told.” With a large puppet on stage, it can be easily come off as silly. Ally admitted that a key component to a film like this when acting is to “build in as much honesty and truth as possible.”
Grimcutty will be available to stream exclusively on Hulu starting October 10th, 2022.