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Smiley (2012)

1:07 | Trailer
After discovering an urban legend of a demented serial killer, who has nothing but a carved "smiley" on his face, a mentally fragile teenager must figure out if she is going insane - or if she could be the next victim.


Glasgow Phillips (screenplay), Michael J. Gallagher (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Caitlin Gerard ... Ashley
Melanie Papalia ... Proxy
Shane Dawson ... Binder
Andrew James Allen ... Zane
Liza Weil ... Dr. Jenkins
Roger Bart ... Professor Clayton
Keith David ... Diamond
Toby Turner ... Mark
Michael Traynor ... Smiley
Jana Winternitz ... Maria
Nikki Limo ... Stacy
Steve Greene ... Crash
Richard Ryan ... Kells
DeStorm Power ... Decepticon
Jason Horton ... Flasher


Ashley goes to her new college while getting over the death of her mother. She meets some new people there including Binder ('Shane Dawson') while at a party and she learns about an urban legend of an online killer that has the nickname "Smiley" who can only be seen on the web and he apparently kills people after they type in "I did it for the lulz" three times. Soon after going to the party Ashley and her flatmate Proxy go online to test it out, with horrific results. She becomes paranoid and she starts to think she sees Smiley all over the place and feels that he may be chasing her, but how can that be if he is not real? Have they somehow released him from the internet? Written by Michael Hallows Eve

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Over 30 Million Trailer Views See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, terror, language, some sexual references and substance use by teens | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Has only sold 30,000 copies See more »


Right after the scene where Ashley and Proxy pretend to make out when they decide to test out the myth of Smiley, you can see the full chat log on the screen while they still have to type it in the next scene. See more »


[last lines]
Proxy: We really killed her!
[last lines]
Zane: Oh come on... she killed herself!
[sees the real smiley standing behind her]
Zane: PROXY?
[sees her being stabbed in the eye]
Zane: Holy shit!
[smiley waves at him then slams down the laptop]
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the very end after the credits are done, Ashley wakes up! See more »


I Should Not Be Seeing You
Written by Paul Humlie and Davis Sterling
Performed by Connie Conway
See more »

User Reviews

The worst slasher film of all time (seriously)
17 February 2016 | by ThomasBleedPHDSee all my reviews

There are movies out there like "Savage Weekend" and "Fat Crazy Ethel II" that are worse to sit through than this movie, but those have such low production quality they can't even be called actual movies. Smiley, however, is an actual movie, and by that standard, it's easily the worst slasher movie ever made. It's also the worst horror movie ever made. In fact, I even consider it one of the ten worst movies of all time.

Smiley is a movie made by and starring a bunch of internet celebrities I'm only vaguely aware of. A self-indulgent passion project, this movie was created purely to kick start all of their film careers.

Smiley is part of a depressingly skyrocketing trend of "Social Media"-themed horror movies. Other entries in this sub genre include the abominable "Megan is Missing" and "Unfriended." A movie that is easily the best of the three, but is still a 4/10 film.

Smiley revolves around a boring, lifeless protagonist I can't even remember the name of as she finds herself caught up in the seedy underground world of "Trolling." Here, evil internet trolls go to "The Bee board on Four-Chan" and "hack severs to post CP" and other inane nonsense. I'm not kidding, the dialogue is really like that.

This movie relies very heavily on internet references, and the creators saw it fit to have characters explain what all of the terminology and lingo means in really blunt, obvious, patronizing expository dialogue. So if you ever wanted to know what "Anonymous" and "Lulz" are, now you can! Of course you don't actually exist because no one with a proper amount of chromosomes cares about any of this.

Of course, being a movie about the evils of 4chan, Smiley puts a lot of stock into the phrase "I did it for the Lulz!" being haunting. Since the movie uses it over and over and over again. In fact one of the characters even gets a long-winded speech out of nowhere about how it represents nihilism and sociopathy and how it's extremely terrifying as the camera closes up on his pudgy face and smug grin with cinematography and lighting so cartoonish it feels like he's about to morph into a lizard or something.

But "I did it for the lulz" is not scary. It's not haunting. It's not even unintentionally comedic. It's stupid. It's a stupid phrase with bad grammar and a made up word. It's the type of thing that can only work on the internet ten years ago. It's like trying to make "lol" sound scary. It just isn't, and no amount of spooky low-voiced monologues or turning down the lights will ever make it scary.

It's hard to talk about this movie with using the word "cringe" a lot. It's the best way to describe the way you'll react to most of the dialogue and plot points: cringe. It doesn't matter if you know about "internet culture" or not. Whether you're a tech-savvy teenager or an old grandma, you'll be sighing, groaning, and cringing your way through this film until it's merciful credit sequence.

It's impossible to care about any of the characters. The ones that aren't complete blank slates or soulless exposition machines are extremely ridiculous strawmen with lines so over-the-top they should be saying them while tying girls to train tracks. This movie attempts to tackle the casual nihilism of internet communities and gets everything completely wrong.

I'd really hate to say it, but "Unfriended" took a lot of the concepts this movie attempts and did them far better. Using internet bullying and "trolling" as concepts for a horror movie is a stupid idea, but at least Unfriended was competent enough to make it's terrible characters seem like real people (terrible people, but real enough) and to avoid exposition about dumb internet crap nobody cares about.

Oh, and Smiley, the movie's killer? He gets about four minutes of screen time, and three of those aren't really him. I won't spoil anything but the twist pretty much invalidates the entire film and comes out of nowhere.

For some reason, Keith David makes an absolutely humiliating cameo in this and you can't help but feel sorry for him. I expected more dignity from the guy who played Coraline's cat.

If I had to use one word to describe this movie, it'd be "embarrassing." Even if you watch it alone it embarrasses you. It's a huge embarrassment for the entire cast and crew. I don't even like these guys, but nobody deserves to be a part of a piece of garbage like this.

They deserve better, and so do you. Don't watch this movie. It's insulting to your intelligence.

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Release Date:

12 October 2012 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

I Did It for the Lulz See more »

Filming Locations:

Glendora, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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