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Critic Reviews for Smiley
The storytelling gets repetitive, but there is enough here to make Smiley feel fresh and more or less satisfying as a low-key creeper.
This remainder-bin horror movie is impossible to take seriously.
Internet chat rooms provide the dubious hook for this generic slasher movie.
This film will not do for the Internet what Psycho did for showers-no more computers have to be smashed because of it.
Smiley's face, or lack of one, is the single creepy effect in the limited trick bag of first-time writer-director Michael Gallagher, age 24, who otherwise relies, again and again, on false-scare musical shrieks to make audiences jump.
Audience Reviews for Smiley
A throwback to nineties post-"Scream" horror, "Smiley" tells of an urban legend based on a killer who inhabits the internet and can be summoned by typing "I did it for the lulz" three times. Yep, it's "Candyman" for the Skype generation. Director Michael Gallagher started out making popular YouTube videos which is exactly what this movie looks like with it's garish lighting and minimal set dressing. In fairness the script does manage to tie up all it's loose ends which is more than can be said for most big-budget flicks today.
''I did it for the lulz'' "LULZ", in case you don't know is an internet slang usually translated to laughing out loud intensely or laughing at someone's expense: We the public paradoxically can be categorized into this very definition as we are senseless enough to even donate this manure of a film a subsequent glance while those involved with production are laughing to the bank (though no question the amount will be small). In any case "Smiley" is one of those films you suspect is probably garbage but you're mysteriously enticed to see it anyways; my expectations were exceeded well beyond reality. The film revolves around an urban legend known as Smiley, a figure with stitched-up eyes and grin who appears when people engage in anonymous online chat sessions. Smiley is basically a cyberspace cheat of Candyman/Scream, an unscary being magically appearing behind victims and gutting them with tedious competence. Within the first five minutes we're given the cheap jump scare right off the bat.....red flag......this is going to be a long 95 minutes. Not only do we have to deal with the constant failed attempts of ridiculous pop-ups; we're in addition provided with what has to be the worst dialogue script in 2012. Our protagonist, Ashley (Caitlin Gerard), who upon smoking pot with her wild roommate, Proxy (Melanie Papalia), awkwardly announces, "I think I'm high on your marijuana", later we're presented with her extraordinary insight of her surroundings, "He chased, he cut me, and then we ripped my shirt", uttered so unnaturally you'd think she was lying . Even with the rather cynical and disturbing faith of our naïve protagonist, she comes off as such an aggravating moron that it's hard not to root for her demise. Not much better can be spoken for of the other cast members including our YouTube stars (Shane Dawson and Toby Turner) who have no problems aggravating the hell out of me. In the end, yes this is a low-budget film but it's disappointing that the creators generated a final product so insipid and deceitful; one wonders who in their right mind would produce such a thing. By the end we're given the obligatory cynical twist, and the dreaded final sequel-baiting money shot, as well as a brief appearance by Keith David that, in eliciting pity for an actor working in material far beneath him, proves Smiley's saddest moment (You could also include Roger Bart). Story: D- Acting: D Direction: F Visuals: D- Overall: D- 1/2 star out of 4
Absolutely dreadful Slasher film that is derivative, filled with clichés and bad dialogue. The film's biggest problem is that we've seen its concept so many times before. The film rip-off the Scream franchise and Candyman films, which were far superior to this trash. This film is one of the worst horror films than I've seen since Wes Craven's My Soul to Take. The problem with this film is that it tries to add an intellectual quality to its formula, unfortunately the script is so poorly written and the acting is so bad that it makes this film one of the worst films in the genre in recent memory. Which I think it's too bad because if the material could have been worked on a bit more. This is a film that is the perfect example of how not to make a horror film. The cast is comprised of unknowns, and YouTube stars, and I kid you not that are really what this film is. Pointless and poorly directed, Smiley uses old ideas that we've seen in many other films, and it is a tiring, pointless picture that is sure to disappoint. This is among the year's worst horror flicks and it has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. This film should never have seen the light of day. All the positive reviews are from people that clearly involved with the making of this train wreck. This film was absolute trash from start to finish, and the filmmakers had no clue on how to create an effective horror film. They just took the best elements of classic horror films, watered it down added some sort of teen humor twist to it. The film insults the intelligence and the horror fan in question. There are far better films out there than this trash. Avoid this film like the plague. This had potential ion being a good flick, but everything is wasted on poor productions, poor script and poor directing that overall this isn't worth your time.
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