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After watching the trailer and hearing about the cast i had high hopes for this movie. I was excited and couldn't wait, but who knew what kind of disappointment awaited me, after watching the first five minutes you cold clearly see that casting a bunch of untrained Youtube stars wasn't a good choice. Unfourtunally the forced tension couldn't make up for it, the script didn't deliver anything interesting and the obvious twists were pretty easy to predict. Smiley himself had like five minutes of screen time which was even more disappointing and the gore moments were just silly which made them actually hard to watch. This movie lives from the online communities it exploits to help hype the film.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Smiley is a horror film about this unexplained killer that kills people
whenever another types in "i did it for the lulz" three times during
video chat, whether it be online or local. The thing that's wrong is,
the movie had me smiling every bit of the way. Why?
1) The characters weren't really nailed down.... they were sort of all over the place. There were absolutely no character arcs, no character development, zip. Why is Ashley's dad's character even in the plot? We never feel for him, communicate with him... he's an annoyance.
2) The subplots. It seems they were literally created in three minutes. The subplot of the overprotective father, as mentioned before, is just annoying. He should have served in the plot.
3) Don't get me started with the plot. It seems like The Ring... a woman encountering this evil through a computer/television screen and slowly going insane, trying to find out what the evil is. The only difference is, The Ring was a much higher regarded horror film in my sense. Ashley is so emotionally broken, so wouldn't she go insane or into panic attacks the one moment she see's the source of evil?
4) It just ends. Just like that. Unfinished and no loose ends were wrapped up (as if it had any loose ends to be wrapped up). Ashley just falls to her death in slow motion. Then it's the end. The "Smiley's" turn out to be Ashley's friends. Wait, what? Why? They killed her and still bother to stay in the same location for another ten minutes. They don't even check to see if she's okay. Also, if I may add, Ashley shoots Binder in the chest, thinking he's the killer. But then... after Ashley's death... he's alive? Did he know he'd be shot by Ashley? It makes absolutely no sense. Then, to very quickly wrap up the one loose end in the film, Ashley's friend asks, "wait, why did we do this again?". It's as if she knew a Panavision camera was feet from her and she wanted to make sure the audience wasn't confused. Oh, then she gets killed by the real Smiley. WHAAAAA? Yeah. The main "Smiley" types in the "i did it for the lulz" thing three times, which answers her previous question. Then she dies. Then the credits roll. But it doesn't make sense... they typed in "i did it for the lulz" three times with every other "Smiley" in the room in order to prank Ashley, but they didn't get killed. And why did they want to prank Ashley anyways?
I like Shane Dawson (Yaw), but this movie disappointed me. Where's the creativity? The point of a film is to use a visual array of metaphorical and hidden images/sounds that the audience needs to dig out. Movies can't be straightforward. Even Disney movies, intended for children, have plot. Oh, did I forget to mention that audiences like irony?
Twenty minutes of time it took to write this article out. I can swear that Smiley was written in less than that amount of time without any plans. You need to plan in order to make enjoyable films, right? Hopefully, talented people can actually break into the film industry, because all that are being let in so far are men in business suits hungry for profit. Thanks for taking the time to read my opinion on Michael Gallagher's "Smiley".
Smiley tells the tale of a city full of the most stupid people in
America. There seems to be an internet-based killer slaying many people
there, and we can only wish him/ her continued success. So bad is this
movie--there really is no "plot"--with its bad acting, bad scripting,
and not-very-scary killer at work, the viewer prays for a short viewing
With little gore, scares, sex or even action, this is a B movie wanna-be, so if that's what you're looking for, forget it! The only clever thing about this movie is the idea of a killer wearing a twisted smiley-face hood. After you've seen that on the ad for the movie, it's all down hill from there. Its silly "surprise" ending does nothing to compensate the viewer for the previous 85 minutes of boredom. Do yourself a favor and don't watch this movie.
The concept of this film is a joke. Jason Voorhees killed because of
the carelessness of his camp counselors letting him drown, Michael
Myers killed because of his repressed childhood and the psychological
effects it had on him, and these douchebags killed... to be the first
"viral killer"... Did they even read these ideas out loud!?! How could
they not realize how stupid this was?
Giving this movie 1 star is an insult to all 1 star movies, this movie deserves maybe just maybe 1/1000th of a bronze star... at very best!
The acting is atrocious too, there's a reason Shane Dawson never made it any further than youtube, because he's a horrible actor! The characters aren't memorable, it's flawed in MANY ways, and I'd go on but unfortunately I'm limited to 1000 words so that is all for IMDb, now for a rant to put up on youtube.
The poster for "Smiley" boasts the tag-line "The New Face of Fear" and
honestly I did find Smiley's appearance unsettling the first time I saw
the trailer. However, all feelings even vaguely related to fear
immediately began to disappear less than 3 minutes into the film (more
on that in a moment). Still, I give the film one star to stand as a
personal reminder for that one moment in time Smiley seemed promising.
"Smiley" is not only bad, but it's exceptionally bad to such a fundamental degree in both film-making and writing that every problem is encapsulated in the phrase: "BAD BLANK 101". Bad acting, pacing, atmosphere, dialog, characterization, direction, cinematography, editing, and sound are all astoundingly present as if "Smiley" was the meeting place for the reunion of elements in hack film-making.
As a film alone the characters are painfully flat; the acting is atrocious and the main character acts like a being from another planet; the dialog is so bad it smells; every single one of the "scares" are some of the cheapest jump scares in modern horror (that's saying something); the pacing is slower than a slug; during the long-drawn out scenes of fundamental philosophical waxing from the college professor (Roger Bart) that same slug is glued to the floor; I will not spoil anything here because the ending still remains an incomprehensible mess that started in less than 3 minutes.
Two minutes and thirty-two seconds into the film is a jump scare by a little girl that is simply a soft then LOUD noise made for no other reason than hack writing. Get used to that because those are the only kind of "scares" in the entire movie. The problems really begin as the audience and babysitter are told by the little girl about an urban legend killer, the titular Smiley, a mysterious killer (in that he's never explained, we're just expected to take the horribly shoe-horned exposition from the little girl that Smiley is a well-known urban legend, yet the audience doesn't know; Gallagher just expects us to blindly accept this). How does the little girl know this? Who is she? If Smiley is based around the NOT-Chatroulette then is it an international urban legend? All of these questions are just a few examples of what I kept asking the film which gave me nothing in return.
Then the awful writing comes into play as the audience learns of how "Smiley" is summoned beginning the long endurance test that was this movie. The Smiley killer is summoned (ala Candyman) by typing out the phrase "I did it for the lulz" three times to someone on Not- Chatroulette causing Smiley (dressed in Michael Meyers' one piece jumpsuit) to sneak up behind the person you typed the message out to then stabs them in the back (with Ghostface's knife no less). Let that sink in. The killer is summoned through Chatroulette.
Now here's a quick lesson to future horror writers and filmmakers: if you want to create a new horror icon then its important to remember that often timelessness trumps modernity. Sure, technologically based horror movies can make some of the best in the genre (Ringu, Videodrome, Kairo, Christine, Poltergeist, etc) and there's nothing wrong with being hip to the now (if done right), but the technology has to age well and be recognized as being a staple of everyday life with the majority of the public and Chatroulette has not aged well at all. In fact, Chatroulette is stale and by having the killer revolve around such an unbelievably dated concept severely hurts the potentiality for the character only speeding along its inevitable fade into obscurity.
Smiley might as well have been summoned by wearing a haunted pair of Crocs. Of course Smiley might have appeared more if the characters were wearing haunted Crocs because Smiley rarely appears in his own film. The rest of the film is just awful acting, horrible dialog, and one middle- finger of an ending.
What else is there to say? Smiley is just all-around bad in every single way possible regarding filmmaking and writing dumbing down or ripping off intriguing concepts from far superior horror films to create a poorly-stitched together amalgamation of first year philosophy, general science, and psychology. The only amusement is watching Roger Bart trying to make "I did it for the lulz" sound ominous and if you want to see that I'm sure Youtube will provide for you.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I thought I might go see the movie because it had my favorite YouTuber
in it. Several minutes in, I had already regretted paying for it and
thought about leaving from all of the constant internet references.
Really? You have to use internet references every five seconds to
insure that your audience can relate to the movie? It especially
disappointed me that they constantly mentioned Anonymous, the hacker
group, and 4chan, an internet forum, because they had to go a few steps
further and mention actual stuff from the internet.
I tried to get over this and enjoy the movie because it might be great aside from the previously mentioned annoyances. However, the acting got worse and worse and made it even more unbearable to even look at anymore. "He grabbed me and then he ripped my shirt!" Wow, brilliant acting and wording there! So captivating! The acting was so bad that it almost sounded like sarcasm for half the movie.
The college classroom scene was some distorted kind of symbolism that tried so hard to sound like the someone put thought into the movie. It was a good idea to put symbolism into the movie because that's what builds a great story, but the writers could have worked on it more so it wasn't so obvious.
I loved how the ending was supposed to be a twist. I could just see the director imagining everyone wide-mouthed and saying, "No! It can't be!" The ending was the worst part about the movie. All of Smiley's victims were actually part of "Anonymous" all along and they actually wanted her dead. This was so stupid and had no meaning to it, whatsoever. It would have been perfectly fine, and actually better, without this part. I mean, you could have at least THOUGHT about what the ending was going to be instead of rushing it! I was in awe at The Sixth Sense's (great movie) ending where the twist had something to do with the entire movie and changed your perspective on everything you just saw. If this movie would have at least had this, I would have given it 4 or 5 stars.
If you have a choice, DO NOT watch this movie. It was so fake that it was funny at some parts. I was not scared a single time throughout the movie and in fact, the other people in the movie theater were staring at me from all of my laughter.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
You know what happens when a group of talented YouTubers on the Internet team up together to make a movie for the first time in their careers, a movie that will change their careers forever, one that they worked really hard on, one that they hope will win the support of their beloved YouTube partners, viewers, and subscribers? Well, you end up getting this piece of crap! "Smiley" is an independent horror film that tells the "story", if I can call it that, about a young college girl who becomes haunted by the legend of the serial killer, Smiley, a killer who appears after someone talks to someone they don't know on an online video chat, and types the phrase, "I did it for the lulz", three times! Can you guess what happens after-wards? After the phrase is written three times, Smiley will appear and murder it's prey! She has so much belief that Smiley is real, she ends up going insane, having hallucinations, and freaking out whether she's dreaming, or if she'll become the next victim. Haven't we seen this type of bit before? Yeah, that's what I thought! "Smiley" is such a complete atrocity from start to finish. Although I have my respects for the YouTube people for working very hard on achieving their dreams of making their first movie, but does that save "Smiley" from being a truly awful film? Of course, not! Director Michael Gallagher, of "Totally Sketch" fame, seems like a really nice guy, and is a talented filmmaker when it involves making videos on the Internet, but when it comes to directing full-length motion pictures, it needs a little work! The movie's only actors are just a variety of YouTube celebrities from Caitlin Gerard, Melanie Papalia, Shane Dawson, Andrew James Allen, Steve Greene, Richard Ryan, and others. All delivering one horrendous performance after the next. Besides the performances from Keith David and Roger Bart, most of the young actors delivered laughably terrible performances. Well, not all of them were bad, because I did think that Shane Dawson actually delivered a pretty decent performance, even if he was the only young actor that was really trying. But the worst performance came from Caitlin Gerard, delivering one of the most annoying, unlikeable, headache-inducing, unbelievable, and stupidest characters I've ever encountered. Every time this chick appeared on screen, I just wanted to laugh! The writing feels childish, the editing is sloppy, and all the horror clichés were everywhere. At a pace of 90 minutes, the film's utter indulgence easily increases, making it one of the most insulting horror films I've ever seen. Whenever this movie tries to get a scare, it just falls flat, and leads to a collection of pointless "jump scares". Whenever it tries to be scary, it just becomes cliché. Whenever it wants to be funny, it fails miserably. Then, we get an ending that will leave audiences throwing their popcorn at the screen, and have their intelligence become insulted! Completely idiotic, and undeniably painful, "Smiley" is definitely, so far, the worst movie I have seen this year. Horrible acting, horrible writing, horrible editing, horrible use of clichés, horrible use of "jump scares", and overall, a horrible movie! That's the perfect word to describe this movie! "Smiley", in my review, "Unfortunately, I'm not smiling".
The nerd Ashley (Caitlin Gerard) moves to the apartment of Proxy
(Melanie Papalia) near the campus of her college. On the arrival, Proxy
invites Ashley to smoke pot and to go to a party, where she meets
students with nicknames. Further she learns about an urban legend of
the serial-killer Smiley, who comes through the Internet and kills
persons that write three times "I did it for the lulz". Soon Ashley
witnesses a murder in her monitor and that event triggers paranoia in
Ashley that is bipolar. She believes that Smiley is hunting her down
but nobody believes in her. Is Ashley mentally disturbed?
"Smiley" is an awfully ridiculous slasher with an absurd plot, bad acting and stupid dialogs. Ashley is a nerd, but her lines are among the worst I have ever seen. She repeats like a moronic child that "now she can do because she is in college" and she smokes grass and drinks boozes despite of her treatment for the psychological problem. The plot is so unbelievable that irritates. I hope that the last scene in the very end does not mean a hook for a sequel. My vote is two.
Title (Brazil): "A Face da Morte" ("The Face of the Death")
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Spoiler: I did it for the lulz I did it for the lulz I did it for the
... Are you dead yet? No? Then turn back now. This movie is a waste of your time and you will regret it. Just as much as you regret your college one night stand with the fat chick from Bio because you were hammered out the asshole.
Whoever funded this movie, let alone came up with the idea was a complete and utter moron. You took a decent idea going about how internet rumors could start; but instead of doing something like 'The Grifter' (Look it up kiddos if you don't know what that is). You take 4chan and... and, you give people this. What did you think was going to happen when doing so? For the love of all things sane. DO NOT WATCH.
1/2 (out of 4)
I ignored the incredibly negative reviews of this film and flopped down my $13.50 and was lucky enough to get a private screening as no one else showed up. The "story" is about a serial killer named Smiley who appears through chat rooms in Internets. Basically if one person says a quote three times then the other person will be killed by Smiley. The mentally troubled Ashley (Caitlin Gerard) shows up at college and gets involved with the maniac. SMILEY is a really, really, really bad horror movie and perhaps one of the dumbest that I've ever seen. I'll admit that the first fake scare caught me off guard but everything that followed this five-minute prologue was just downright horrid. The biggest problem is without question the awful story that just never makes any sense no matter how much logic you try to put behind it. The entire film just has you sitting there wondering what dumb turn in going to come next and I guess I should at least give the filmmakers credit because just when you thought things couldn't get any dumber they actually did. Another major problem is that the characters in this film are among the most annoying in horror history. The roommate is just so lame and stupid that you'll be pulling out your hair. The "friends" just say one dumb thing after another and none of the conversations in this thing are believable. Even the death scenes are very tame and pathetic and I'll add that there are no scares, no tension and nothing else for that matter. I thought Gerard was cute and good in the role but her character was so poorly written that I hope to see her again in something better. Keith David shows up in a quick cameo and this here at least put a smile on my face. The majority of the supporting performances are...you guessed it, horrible. SMILEY is really a pathetic little film and of course you've got to have the twist ending. I won't ruin it for anyone but it did cause me to deduct a half star. SMILEY is certainly one of the most aggravating horror films to come around in a while and quite worthless all around.
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