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Grimcutty's Creator Was Going For An Uncanny Valley Vibe When Bringing The Monster To Life

Indie horror director John Ross unleashed "Grimcutty" on Hulu as one of their original movies for the Halloween season of 2022 to the delight of fans of spooky entertainment. "Grimcutty" is about a horrifying internet meme a la creepypasta — like those explored in Syfy's Channel Zero – willed into existence by overly concerned suburban parents who are worried that the meme will inspire their children to self-harm, and their two young kids that have to put a stop to the monster.

The monster in the film is brought to life with practical effects, making the movie feel like a cross between real-life "Slenderman" inspired hysteria and an '80s creature feature. The film stars Shannyn Sossamon, who previously starred in a similar allegory about self-harm in 2007 called "Wristcutters: A Love Story." She is joined in the cast by Sara Wolfkind and Usman Ally.

Director Ross had previously helmed the low-budget genre flicks "Freaky Faron" in 2006 and "Shadows of the Dead" in 2016. He also co-wrote the 2009 horror film "The Echo Game" (via IMDb). With an obvious penchant for the horror genre, Ross set out to create a memorable creature for "Grimcutty" He said he was going for an Uncanny Valley vibe when bringing the monster to life for the film.

The creature's Uncanny Valley look was inspired by internet creepypastas like Momo

In an interview with ScreenRant, "Grimcutty" director John Ross talked about the genesis of the look of the creature and how it came to be. He said the idea for the look of the monster came to him and he sketched it out. He said, "I had always had this idea of a pale white face sticking out of this black cowl, and how I could play around with darkness and have this kind of ghostly face floating around in the darkness and have it jump out at you."

Similar to the internet creepypasta of Momo, the filmmaker wanted the monster's look to have an Uncanny Valley vibe to its look. The horrifying imagery of a ghostly white face appearing out of the darkness can shock anyone to their core no matter their age. The film mostly deals with young people being frightened by the beast, but cleverly the film reveals that the older folks in the suburban town where the movie is set are the most afraid of what the creature represents.

Ross continued, "A lot of the design work was just taking the creature's features and making it more and more human until we found that sweet spot where it's kind of like, 'What is that thing?' I think the face especially turned out really well." The face of the monster went on to be the image for all of the marketing for the film. Its visage is featured on the poster for the film and on the Hulu splash page for it. No effects were wasted concealing the creature for this monster movie.

John Ross learned about horror and spatial relations from a master of horror

While internet creepypastas such as the aforementioned Momo inspired the Uncanny Valley look of the creature in "Grimcutty," director John Ross told Laughing Place that it was master of horror Wes Craven that inspired his directorial style in the film. He said, "I think Wes Craven is kind of underrated in terms of his directing style. I feel like people take it for granted, but the way he films things chasing you is really terrifying. He does this thing where he frames things up in a very clear way."

He goes on to cite an example from Craven's legendary "Scream" from 1996 to further prove his point. He said about a scene in that film, "When the guy's chasing her through the house, you have a clear sense of the spatial relationships — how far away the guy is from the victim." Watching "Grimcutty," the audience has a sense of where the creature is always lurking in a potential victim's house so it's clear to see where Ross put his inspiration to good use.