Supernatural elements aside, "The Grinn" would make a great study into mental illness. That's really the main story here. Never mind the ghostly aspects of this film, they're just those bells and whistles that compliment a good story. So what's the deal? Spoiler free and simply put, Vance, played by John Carroll, awakes with no true memory of who he is, or where he is. With the help of a guide, via his cell phone at first and in person later, he begins to piece together the circumstances that brought him to this strange, yet familiar place. We learn who he is, about his life and eventually, where he is... and if he's alive or dead. This is all done through flashbacks and unusual imagery. Then, as the title implies in it's subtle way, we have "The Grinn" itself. A creepy mask wearing thing running around like any movie monster is expected to do. Maybe it's not a mask at all, or maybe there's no real grinning thing at all, that will be left for you, the viewer to determine. I mentioned above that Matthew Kalamane's film, this film, would be a great study into mental illness. Essentially, this very subject is the source of the movies entertainment. Especially within the third act, where everything comes together. The revelations about Vance, and his mental state, truly make for a great reveal in the end. As the film progressed, I did see the signs planted smartly by Kalamane, and Carroll as he acted out his character, yet it was still completely satisfying watching it play out onscreen. I "almost" think "The Grinn" could have been a better film without all the supernatural elements. Almost. The "Beetlejuice" concept was still a great way to explain - and show us, the viewers, everything that was happening. I know I mentioned the beetle-man himself, but don't get all excited if you're a fan of the 80s film. I only referenced that particular movie because it was the most obvious comparison. "The Grinn" is nothing like our favorite ghost with the most film. Not really. As for the Grinn itself? I'm a little iffy on the character. I'll get into more on that below. Production-wise, "The Grinn" was a bit of a mixed bag. A lot of the film, especially the second and third acts, were a true treat to watch. It felt as if a switch had been switched, and the film had finally found it's stride. It's the first act that fell into that "iffy" category for me. Easiest description? There was too much at the starting gate, and it really felt inferior. Compared to the second and third acts that is. I seem to be writing it a lot lately, but "The Grinn" does feel lengthy and honestly, I attribute this to that first act. I can't even put into words what the actual issues were. It just felt long, and more than a little boring. Thankfully, as I wrote, things pick up in act two... and explode in act three. Perhaps cutting a few minutes from the first bit would have helped. Too late now. The cast all perform rather well, coming across as believable at times, vague at others and downright eerie on occasion. It all fits the surreal situation that presents itself in this movie. My only real question is this... why have the grinning "thing" at all? Although it's a touch scary when appearing in the movie, and yes, it does work well for a poster... but what was really the point? I have a few ideas, but truly couldn't find any "real" reason for "The Grinn" to be even in this movie? By that... I mean... this film could have been done, with the same effect on the viewers... without it. I may have missed something, but for me, The Grinning man/thing felt more like a gimmick. Serving no "true" purpose. As I wrote, I may have missed something. Or maybe not. However, by no means am I writing it wasn't freaky. It just felt like filler. Or a way to rope people who love horror films, into what is essentially a thriller. I loved how things all tied into an exorcist styled theme, but was simply unsure about the creature itself. Had I enjoyed the first bit of this film more than I did, I would have sent it off with a higher score. That first bit however, for me, was tough to get into for whatever reason. Here's the thing. Damn! Did things get better. Everything got better. Almost like I was watching a completely different film. Getting "random" people to sit through the first bit may be a little challenging. That's a shame. For anyone reading this review, who is maybe considering seeing this flick for themselves, things do get better. Much... much better. "The Grinn" is a smartly written, well acted indie film. Of that there is no question. Is it scary? Maybe not physical shock scare-wise... but mentally and emotionally... yes. It is definitely a winner. This one is just recently available to the public. Why not check out our links to "The Grinn" and see it for yourself.