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8.8.14

WRITTEN REVIEW: Grim

By MATTHEW STEWART
As we continue down the vortex into the lower levels of Netflix’s horror section please make sure that you are ready for anything and your expectations are lower than the pits into which we plummet. I know you’re not expecting poetry, but in order for me to prepare for what is to come, I feel it my personal responsibility to class up the proceedings.

“But the stars that marked our starting fall away.
We must go deeper into greater pain, for it is not permitted that we stay.”

–Dante Alighieri, Inferno

As I’ve mentioned before, the early to mid-1990s was a dark time for horror. At least in the 1980s you knew what you were getting; usually a guy in a mask offing teenagers who decided that getting high and laid was the way to go. I can respect that. However, as that trend started to wane, we got films that featured “scary” monsters and to be honest, probably a lot of directors that were still getting over all of that cocaine they took in the 80s. This brings me to Grim a 1995 feature that I’m left to believe could have been the next great monster, but instead we have a film that is all together bad.

Grim is the classic tale of why you shouldn’t mess with a Ouija board. The film features a monster that is awaken by said Ouija and wreaks havoc in a small housing development in Virginia. Our protagonist, Rob, and who seems to be his long-lost flame, Penny, head into the caves with a few members of the community who are interested in the sudden strange goings-on where people are disappearing right out of their homes. There is also a sub-plot where the titular monster possesses people and even keeps someone as a pet…maybe? It’s as ridiculous as it sounds.


Glowing red eyes is always a good sign.

Simply put, this film is bad. One, there are shots that drag on entirely too long; it almost seems like the director of photography forgot to shut off the camera or the director forgot to yell cut. Two, the acting is laughable, and there are a few times when I thought I might see Tommy Wiseau pop out of a side cave, yell “Cut!” and show them what really acting is all about. Three, there is a lot of fog, and once again, that is usually done to cover up shoddy production work. Finally, your star is Emmanuel Xuereb, best known for his role in Bad Boys. But I guess it was a big year for him with Bad Boys and his follow-up being Grim.


Grim, the new face of horror.

While most of the film is unwatchable, there are a few bright spots. The actual design of the Grim monster is pretty cool. It looks like a combination of one of Jabba the Hutt’s guards, and the monster from Graveyard Shift. Like a pseudo-pig-rat-goblin-bat monster with the fashion sense of Gimli from Lord of the Rings. Even though I beat on the DP earlier, I still liked how some of the cave shots were composed. It reminded me a little of early Peter Jackson work, such as Braindead. Finally, and while I’m not comparing the two, but I guess by default I am, I see some influences from Grim in Neil Marshall’s The Descent. Albeit not many, both The Descent and the not-so-stellar The Cave, I’m certain took a little influence from this film.

Grim is another tough sit. It would have been better suited for an episode of Tales from the Crypt or even the vastly-underrated Monsters, but low and behold a 90-minunte film was made about a monster that lives under a housing development and the day needs to be saved by a surveyor. The tag line goes “This is no Fairy Tale” but it’s better suited as a bedtime story, at best.

“As phantoms frighten beasts when shadows fall.” –Dante Alighieri, Inferno


They say a picture is worth a thousand words. But sometimes a motion picture is only worth one. Simplistic Reviews gives you a minimum one word review from avid film buffs Justin Polizzi, Matthew Stewart and DJ Valentine. If one isn't enough, you can read on and enjoy their further analysis of the film or television show. Simplistic Reviews is, for lack of a better word, GOOD.

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