Gary Hinge (Movie Review)

by James William
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When Gary Hinge doesn’t return home from a backcountry hiking expedition, his family contacts the police. They begin a months-long search, but no sign of the outdoor enthusiast is found.

Although writer-director Dutch Marich doesn’t explicitly reference it, the film may be inspired by the 2014 disappearance of hiker Kenny Veach, known online as snakebitmgee. The similarity is uncanny, especially considering that Veach was pressured by his followers to revisit a puzzling discovery.

What Happened to Gary Hinge?

Gary Hinge is an experienced hiker and survivalist who vlogged about his expeditions in the wilderness. His most recent trip lasted three days, and toward the end of it, he claimed that he found a cabin which gave him a definite feeling of impending doom and dread. After he made this claim, his followers and other people who were interested in his work began to hunt for this mystery location. They filmed their excursions and tried to locate this mysterious shack and find out who attacked the vlogger.

Eventually, Gary Hinge went missing, and his family reported him as a lost person to the police. However, the authorities were unable to find any trace of him. Then, a group of campers discovered Gary’s cleanly severed hand in their campground. This is what sparked the interest of the police and countless other explorers who wanted to know what really happened to this man known as Scorpion Sam.

This faux documentary, directed by Dutch Marich, tells the story of Gary Hinge and what really happened to him in the desert of Nevada. The film uses a blend of made-up talking heads and gorgeous landscape shots to create an unsettling atmosphere that captures the audience’s attention. It also utilizes the found footage narrative technique made famous by the Blair Witch Project to evoke a sense of dread and uncertainty in the viewers.

After his disappearance, Gary published a video in which he promised not to reveal the exact location of the cabin he visited, because he did not want to encourage inexperienced hikers to visit that area. However, he was pressured by many people to return to the place so that he could provide proof of his claims.

So, he decided to make the trip and visit this deserted place once again. He brought his camera and a gun with him to protect himself from any possible threats. However, when he arrives at the site, he finds that someone else is already there. He is then hounded by a deformed monster, who eventually severing his arm.

The Story

Director Dutch Marich’s pseudo-documentary is a slow burn that uses fictional talking head interviews and found footage to create the ultimate indie horror movie. Its inability to fully commit to either genre makes it a bit of a mess, but it’s hard not to be terrified by the beautiful landscapes and sense of impending doom that Hinge’s story evokes.

Hinge was an outdoor enthusiast and survivalist with a massive online following. During one of his YouTube videos, he described an experience he had on a hike that left him feeling eerie and uneasy. He went on to describe an abandoned-looking cabin with smoke coming from its chimney and a sense of impending danger. He encouraged his followers to visit the place and see for themselves, claiming that the cave might contain Area 51 secrets or other mysterious information.

His sister, Beverly, reported him missing after he didn’t return home. Police searched the desert and interviewed his roommate and friends, but they couldn’t find any clues as to what happened to him. Eventually, Gary’s truck was found, with a tape inside that revealed a disturbing conclusion.

The video shows Gary walking into the desert and approaching a cabin, which he believes is identical to the one from his previous experience. As he approaches, he hears a voice chanting and feels a strange vibration through his body. He begins to record the scene, but is attacked by a deformed monstrous figure and the camera shuts off.

After a month of searching, the police had no leads as to what happened to Gary. However, they did find his truck and discovered a set of barefoot footprints that didn’t match any known John Doe fingerprints. As a result, they decided to switch their focus and start investigating his social media.

This was the start of a long, drawn-out investigation that culminated in an unnerving reveal. Although this revelation didn’t answer everything, it made sense that Gary would be killed by a disfigured monster. It’s also possible that he was killed by someone who knew him, perhaps his attacker was a family member or someone else who felt threatened by his popularity.

The Final Verdict

The mysterious disappearance of hiker Gary Hinge in the Nevada desert serves as the inspiration for this pseudo-documentary horror film. Dutch Marich’s 2021 movie features a unique narrative style that blends true crime drama with found footage. As the film progresses, interview segments with people familiar with the case are interspersed with retrieved footage that was shot by Hinge. The eerie atmosphere created by the recovered footage is effective at conveying the film’s underlying sense of dread.

The film begins by establishing Gary’s personality and character through endearing insights and anecdotes provided by his sister and roommate. By the time the plot begins, it’s clear that Gary is an enigma that the audience must discover more about. The narrative successfully draws the viewer into the story through this character introduction and the first person perspective offered by Gary’s hand held camera.

When the police began looking into Gary’s disappearance, they were unable to find any information on him aside from his blog and social media accounts. Gal Roberts, a blogger who has worked with Gary in the past, starts digging into his account and finds a video clip that may provide clues about what happened to him.

As the movie progresses, it becomes clear that Gary was a reclusive individual who struggled with feelings of loneliness and rejection. His varied interests and hobbies helped him to escape into his online persona and interact with his audience in an anonymous fashion. As his blog grew in popularity, it became easier for him to rely on this virtual community for emotional fulfillment.

Gary’s final video was uploaded shortly before his disappearance. In this clip, he apologized for not being able to reveal the location of his mysterious cabin because it would encourage inexperienced adventurers to venture into dangerous areas. He also promised to return, armed with his video camera and a gun for protection.

The cryptic ending to the film was not met with universal approval by viewers. Some felt that the mockumentary’s explanation of “Oh, it was just a disfigured man hiding from society” took away from the violence of the scene and the cruelty of the zombie-like creature. Others argued that the open ending allows for the possibility that the attacker was a supernatural being guarding a sacred space.


The most blatant question that the spectator is left with at the end of most horror movies is what the protagonist’s motivation was for making their ultimate decision. For instance, why did the woman enter her old home’s eerie attic? Or why did the teenagers believe that spending the night at a supposedly haunted house was a smart idea? This was a problem that the film Gary Hinge addressed, and it was handled pretty effectively.

While the movie doesn’t actually show what happened to Gary, it does a great job of establishing his character and personality through anecdotes and his own blog recordings. He was a very private person, preferring animals and nature to people and social settings, and this secluded lifestyle contributed to his feelings of rejection and isolation. Moreover, it’s revealed that he was gay and had been living in a small town with a homophobic atmosphere, and this exacerbated his feeling of being a social outcast.

Gary’s blog was a source of escape from this environment, and it had 50,000 subscribers that appreciated his interests and quirkiness. This may have led to him becoming reliant on it for his emotional fulfillment, and as such, it was not a surprise when he started to feel threatened by the unknown in the desert.

While it hasn’t been explicitly stated that the plot was inspired by the real-life disappearance of YouTuber Kenny Veach, the parallels are uncanny. Veach was also an avid hiker and content creator, and he disappeared in the same Nevada desert where Hinge’s story takes place. Speculations on his death range from being murdered by government agents to being killed by supernatural forces.

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