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(2012)

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One of the Dumbest Horror Films in a Very Long Time
Michael_Elliott14 October 2012
Smiley (2012)

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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3/10
Nothing to see here
Leofwine_draca28 May 2015
SMILEY is yet another slasher-cum-horror flick in a world already over-saturated by the genre. Once again it's an interpretation of an urban legend storyline, a la CANDYMAN, except updated to the Internet age. Chatroom users are tasked with typing "I did it for the lulz" into their chat window three times in a row, at which point the horribly disfigured murderer Smiley will appear and knife the person they're talking to to death.

It's as dumb as it sounds, and actually worse in places. Although the idea in a nutshell isn't too bad, it's the execution where this fails. There are dumb, unlikeable characters throughout, overage high school kids without an ounce of charisma between them; stupid teen-speak dialogue which appeals to the lowest common denominator every time; plus a couple of supporting roles for tired-looking actors like Keith David (THE THING) and Roger Bart (HOSTEL PART II).

As is the norm for such films, the only reason to watch SMILEY is for the kill scenes, and they're pretty shoddily done with low rent gore effects and nothing much in the way of tension. Instead, the director seems intent on throwing as many false scares and pointless dream sequences into his movie as is possible, thus padding out the running time to feature length. Watch for the quadruple twist ending, probably the dumbest I've ever seen.
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2/10
Awfully Ridiculous Slasher
claudio_carvalho14 March 2014
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")
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5/10
YOU ENJOY THE STRANGE?
nogodnomasters26 July 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I DID IT FOR THE LULZ. I DID IT FOR THE LULZ. I DID IT FOR THE LULZ.

Ashley (Caitlin Gerard) goes to college and rents a room off campus. She meets a crowd of other young people and is exposed to an "urban legend" about Smiley, a killing who appears and kills the person you are chatting with if you type in a sentence three times...and really want it.

Ashley also attends a class which discusses Occum's Razor among other things that tie into the overall theme.

The killer appears.

The film is less slasher and more of a psychological thriller. The problem I had was the action centered around Ashley who didn't do enough to excite me. The characters were not well developed. Had this film been done with different actors and a slightly better script it would have been killer, instead of just another me-too slasher.

Parental Guide: F-bomb, sex, and nudity
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2/10
Guaranteed to wipe the smile off your face.
BA_Harrison27 May 2018
A girl tells her hot babysitter about the urban legend of Smiley, a facially disfigured killer who stalks the users of chat sites. Supposedly, if someone types the message 'I did it for the lulz' three times, the person they are talking to gets a visit from Smiley with his big knife. Hot babysitter goes home, logs on, and talks to a guy who repeatedly types the deadly message. Hot babysitter is killed. Cue titles...

You might as well turn off at this point, because the rest of the film is utter tripe, a dumb cyber-slasher that makes very little sense, features horrible characters, is chock full of really bad jump scares, and boasts a Scream-style twist ending that beggars belief. Only six years old, and the film's chatroom technology is already incredibly dated. Much of the action involves a creepy tutor teaching a class of philosophy students, which does nothing at all to further the plot, but which does plenty to bore the viewer senseless. We get some pointless interaction with disinterested cops. And there's a sub-plot about protagonist Ashley's fragile mental state, but this only goes to make matters even more confusing than they already are.

2/10. Slashers don't get much worse.
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4/10
A slasher movie that failed to slash through where it counted...
paul_haakonsen29 March 2013
Having grown up with slasher movies, and still enjoying them today, it is always nice to see a new addition to the genre. However, most of them fail to make a lasting impression, and "Smiley" was just one such movie. Sure it is a great attempt at a modern and up-to-date slasher movie, trying to incorporate the Internet into the frame, but the movie was suffering from that special touch that slasher movies had back in the late 1980's and up to the early 2000's.

The story is about an urban legend about Smiley, that he will appear online and kill anyone you are video chatting with, if your desire to kill is strong enough and if you write "I did it for the lulz" three times.

Simple enough storyline, but it just didn't have much coherency after you have finished the movie and realized the story behind this Smiley killer. You especially sit there with a sense of "what is the chance of Smiley actually going to that particular user online, when there are billions of online video chatters?"

But the movie does have some good moments. There are some fun scenes and some good enough deaths. But in overall, the movie is not scary and Smiley surely doesn't come off as intimidating or scary at all. He is lacking personality and style, and he has a long, long way to reach up to the ankles of iconic slashers such as Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger or Michael Meyers.

It is not all bad, though. I will say that they had some good enough talents on the cast list. People did good enough - and convincing enough - work with their given roles. However, it is just not memorable and a couple of days after you've seen the movie, they will all have blurred out of your memory. The characters weren't particularly memorable.

Fun entertainment, sure, but a movie that will stand out and make a lasting mark on the slasher genre? Hardly!
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3/10
Candyman on Elm Street ... for the YouTube generation
Coventry15 October 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Have you ever noticed that, apart from the hugely redundant but nevertheless straightforward and no-nonsense remakes, horror directors nowadays also blatantly steal the key elements and/or plot lines of great genre classics and shamelessly process them into new movies like it were their very own and brilliantly invented ideas? Take the example of "Smiley", for instance… The basic premise handles about an urban legend of a sadistic killer – Smiley – who appears behind you and your computer when you're chatting online and the other party types a particular catchphrase three times in a row. People, like yours truly, who have been watching horror movies long before cyberspace ever existed know this classic format under the title "Candyman". Look for it; it's a brilliantly scary genre classic from 1992. Later on in the film, the lead girl suffers from vivid nightmares in which she confronts Smiley, and when she wakes up screaming, the physical evidence of her struggle is still there. Great gimmick, if it wasn't for the fact that Wes Craven already introduced it in 1984 with "Nightmare on Elm Street". And then finally, the entire denouement of "Smiley" strangely bears a lot of resemblance with "Scream", but of course I can't go into detail too much here, as it would reveal massive plot spoilers. But you get the idea. "Smiley" gets zero points for originality as the screenplay simply just recycles ideas and gimmicks from other and much better landmarks in the horror genre. And I'm sure that the creators of this particular film will pretend that they intended "Smiley" as an homage to those films and the horror genre in general, and that may even be truthful, but in the meantime there's yet a whole new generation of young fans who will think this is an awesome movie and they will never bother to seek out any originals made prior to the year 2000. And yes, I'm very aware that this statement makes me sound like an old and embittered loser, so go ahead and vote the review as not useful, if that makes you feel any better…

Even from a far more objective point of view, "Smiley" remains a truly mediocre movie … And then I'm still being very generous. There are a few noteworthy moments of suspense, and the lead actress Caitlin Gerard honestly gives an amiable performance, but she as well as all of us viewers deserves a much better screenplay. The pacing is too often interrupted by those typical college lectures sequences (you know, the ones where they coincidentally discuss topics that directly link to the ordeals of the protagonist) and the actual murder sequences are disappointingly tame and almost bloodless. Apart from Gerard's character and a brief appearance of Keith David as a skeptical cop, the rest of the cast depict computer wizards, internet geeks and Dungeons & Dragons fans. So, in other words, insufferable dorks and freaks who think they're better than the rest. It's the type of cast that you cannot wait to see slaughtered, but unfortunately their death don't come quick and painful enough. There are too many plot holes and inconsistencies to elaborate upon and the whole climax sequence raises a truckload of question marks that – maybe for the better – will never become answered. Unless they make a "Smiley 2", God forbid
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6/10
Millennium Fear of the Internet Movie
LeonLouisRicci14 April 2014
This is an Ultra-Low-Budget Slasher Entry that was made by some Youtube "Personalities" that is a Good Effort and has Enough Underlying Modern Angst about the Internet's Scary Possibilities that makes it "Worthy".

Every Era has its Fears Personified in Films. Poverty in the 1930's, Post WWII Anxieties in the 1940's, Atomic Radiation in the 1950's, "The Man" in the 1960's, and so on. So here is one for the New Millennium. After All, the Internet is a Wonderful and Scary Place so it is Ripe for the Would Be Horrors to Manifest itself in the Movies.

Who better to give that Fear a Face than these Youtube Yahoos. They Manage to be somewhat Creative but can't Help Themselves when it comes to Clichés like Jump-Scares. They Really seem to be Above that Tired Genre Convention.

But the Film does stay away from the Shaky Cam, Mumbling and Gratuitous Nudity that has become SOP in the Modern Age. So Overall this is a Pretty Good Try from some Youngsters. The Acting is Surprisingly Good from Catlin Gerard and Ranging from Acceptable to Verging on Cringe Inducement from the rest of the Non-Pros.
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6/10
Disappointing slasher but some good ideas
kannibalcorpsegrinder14 February 2014
Arriving at a new college, a teen hears the urban legend of an internet-based serial killer and unwittingly summons him who begins a reign of terror across campus, forcing her to deal with the demons of her past to stop him.

This here turned out to be a minor disappointment as there could've been a lot to like here. The set-up has potential and really could've been something as it takes on a more modernized twist than most other slashers which gives it an edge. As well, the fact of how it goes about summoning the killer is great fun with the connection to technology and the whole hip-teen angle it portrays which manages to feel pretty unique, though not out-and-out clever. The killer itself is quite impressive with a really chilling and creepy mask that surely ranks as one of the more original and creative in the genre, certainly worthwhile of being a fearsome visage to be scared of. The film, though, really hits it's stride in the last half where the stalking becomes far more intense and scary, the action picks up considerably, and the whole angle surrounding the final twist is unbelievably demented and psychotic to where it scores a lot of points more off how it goes about it rather than the actual implications of everything, which is where this one really falls apart and wastes a lot of its' potential. Rather than come up with a creative twist to the inner workings of the story, the one we get is so utterly callous and mean-spirited that there's no way anyone in the real world would've acted this way and gone through with the actions it's depicting here, for the reasons this one paints as being the purpose of the entire film as a whole. That in itself is a major force to overcome, as well as the inherent stupidity and utter mindlessness of the story where it has a cool idea or two but then never goes through and explains anything, keeping everything as simple-minded as possible when fleshing something out would've made for a more interesting experience, as if the anonymity of the internet weaved itself through the rest of the film. As well, the killer here does resort to everything with a simple kitchen knife and really looks easily over-powered because of that weapon, and with no variety to speak of it really lowers his value considerably. As well, the first half to this so boring that hardly anything really happens until about an hour in, and with little-to-no investigation onto the killer's back-story nor what's going on during this time, it feels like an eternity to get going when it really shouldn't be. Altogether, these issues harm the film more than the few positives it had.

Rated R: Graphic Language, Graphic Violence and drug use.
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1/10
All Frowns
thesar-28 September 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Let's start with the 1990s poster. Unoriginal, boring and a blatant rip-off.

Let's move on with the concept. Barely innovative, not interesting and certainly improbable.

Let's finish with the movies this steals from: Candyman and Feardotcom.

Smiley was a movie I wanted to stand behind before I saw it. Thankfully, I did see it before I associated my name with it.

This was an absolutely awful movie with terrible acting, uninspired dialogue and a "twist" ending that any normal horror fan would've seen from a hundred movies before.

A college student discovers that if you type an unintentionally and laughably adolescent internet phrase three times into a video-chat room, a bad man will appear behind the "victim" and slaughter them. Will she be able to stop the entity? Will the police believe her? Will anyone care who hasn't seen this movie 142 times before?

No. You will not smile during this. You will see the acting, scenes and dialogue just barely above porn, but without the sex or nudity – so look elsewhere. And you will want to revisit the movies this borrowed – no, STOLE – from.

(Spoiler alert. You were warned…)

Side Note: Previously, I mentioned the movies this ripped off. There's one more that it definitely plagiarized. And if you want to avoid any kind of spoiler, avoid this…1986's APRIL FOOL'S DAY. I don't know if I just spoiled it for you or helped you out. I think: the latter.
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1/10
Smiley certainly didn't put a smile on my face.
TheMovieDiorama1 August 2019
Oh boy. Oh dear lord. Oh for goodness sake. When the director is an apparent well known YouTuber and decides to cast most of his online buddies in a slasher that is nearly as stupid and pointless as the word "lulz", well expect me to rip my own heart out of my chest and devour it senselessly just to generate the tiniest of smirks upon my now bloody face. Honestly, this is by far one of the worst films I've ever watched. Not because of its premise, even though that in itself was as incomprehensibly dumb as Shane Dawson's inability to shroud his sexuality at the time, but due to Gallagher's inexperience in elongating a simple YouTube sketch into a feature film. Urgh. College students go on a Chatroulette-style website where they type "I did it for the lulz" three times and a mutilated Internet mythological serial killer stabs the person in the back.

That's all there is to it. Towards the end, and I kid you not, I paused the film, glanced at the runtime and realised I only had ten minutes left before the ending that I've been beckoning for an hour arrived. And guess what? Nothing happened in that preceding hour. Absolutely frickin' nothing! Just a plague of unnecessary jump scares embedded in what resembled an amateur student film. The camera movement was woeful, and every scene transition, abrupt cut or the simplest of static camera shots were handled with complete mediocrity. I was tempted to get my partner to say "I did it for the lulz" three times so I could actually end this nightmare.

I've never seen a camera zoomed in on the actors faces as much as this. Any closer and they'll start spraying their saliva on the lens! I don't want to see half of Toby Turner's face, no wait..., I only want to see half of his face. Good job Gallagher! The final reveal made no sense whatsoever, and I just couldn't understand why no one was using a laptop against a wall. Then ol' Stitchface wouldn't be able to stab 'em, y'know? Oh, and no one could act. Gerard sounded like a squeaky dog toy and bringing in David and Bart was not going to save the film! Yeah. I'm done.
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6/10
Shrimp emoji or better
GiraffeDoor25 November 2019
Passable and original horror that exploits the anxieties we have about cyber culture.

It's quite sanctimonious in parts and actually used college lectures to explore its themes so it's flawed to be sure but to its credit, it keeps its card close to its chest and is just about satisfying in its conclusion.
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4/10
Had potential
dar041711 February 2020
Had potential but didn't hold up. Not a horrible horror film but should have been better.
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7/10
Smart, low budget thriller
TdSmth525 March 2013
In the intro we meet a pretty babysitter who learns from the girl she's babysitting of an urban legend where if you go on an anonymous chat site and type 3 times "I did it for the lulz" Smiley, some guy with a mask, appears instantly and kills the person on the other side of the chat.

The babysitter goes home to chat and the other person tries it out and indeed the babysitter is killed.

Then we meet Ashley on her first day of college. She's a nerd who lost her mom and her dad is overprotective. Her dorm mate is some party girl who takes her a party where she meets all sorts of weirdos. They also try out the chatrooom trick and again someone dies, but everyone tells her it's all fake.

Meanwhile Ashley gets very nervous as more people start dying and even one of the guys admits to her that it must be real. She seeks psychiatric help and even seeks the police after she herself gets someone killed during a chat. But police don't believe her. When she takes matters into her own hands because she starts seeing Smiley everywhere, she ends up killing a guy she likes. That's when we find out what really happened and who the killer is.

Smiley is a fairly low budget movie that has something of an 80s feel to it. It has excellent acting but it doesn't look very good. The female cast also isn't particularly attractive. The basic idea may be nothing new, but it's well done and the story is engaging, there are even some good scares. In fact, this is quite a smart movie. Ashley attends a philosophy class where the professor has smart things to say about life, evil, the supernatural, all of which pertain to what Ashley is going through. The problem is that with the all killings the movie makers have really pushed themselves in a corner and the explanation and resolution aren't all that satisfactory. And neither is the motivation for all the killings. But at least, the answer is something unusual and not exactly expected. I have to commend the filmmakers for giving us a horror movie that doesn't insult the intelligence of the audience but gives them something to think about.
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3/10
Far from engaging and very little to look forward to
If there is one thing to say about Hollywood that many filmgoers will agree on is that it's no longer being original with their material. For most cases this occurs because many film makers, whether being the director, writer or actor are either lazy trying to get their yearly pay or because they really don't have an understanding of the project they were cast for. On the other hand, it could also be because the process of being original is not the smoothest task to begin with believe it or not. That's why the category of A-list actors is much smaller by comparison to anything below them. So when looking at horror genre films, it might be easier to understand why there haven't been many new horror icons of recent memory other than a few. A large portion of popular killers came from the 1970s and 1980s. After that, the challenge became much steeper for anyone who came after. Like much film students nowadays, much were inspired and influenced by such films. The director to this movie, Michael J. Gallagher, probably has been subjected to the same experience.

Having a script also written by the director already brings into question whether this could be made competently. As for the final product, it shows that Mr. Gallagher may have not been ready. Viewers are introduced to college freshmen Ashley (Caitlin Gerard), the daughter of a widower who lost her mom to suicide. After moving in with her friend Proxy (Melanie Papalia), they learn that a strange craze is taking over the campus. The craze is using a random Internet chat roulette program. When somebody wants the other person to die (of course, because any does), they type into the chat forum "I did it for the lulz" three times. As a result, the person gets stabbed by a character only known as Smiley for his face looking like an over fanatic fan of Zack Snyder's Watchmen (2009) pin. After Ashley and Proxy try it out for themselves to see if it was real, they get nervous and begin to feel like they might be next on Smiley's hit list.

Directly taking ideas from the "Bloody Mary" urban legend, the script is a giant mess of confusing logic with a number of other flaws. If anything, the killer has a grotesque design but even then it's also nonsensical. There's very little to talk positively about here. The cinematography handled by Nicola Marsh (Twenty Feet from Stardom (2013) and Pearl Jam Twenty (2011)) kept the camera steady for the most part. Marsh also gave as many clear shots as he could even for the lighting in this movie. The only other plus is there are roles filled in by some Internet / veteran celebrities most notably Shane Dawson. There are a couple others but the script makes them sound unintelligent and boring. Writing overall isn't convincing either. There are moments where the Ashley character is focused on due to mental disorder but it's only used to further the illogical story telling. Then there's Roger Bart (the singing voice of Young Hercules in Disney's Hercules (1997)) who plays what seems to be Ashley's only college professor of an unknown class.

Bart plays his character so strangely, he feels creepier than the villain. Not only does he openly address classmates strangely in public; he also likes to constantly stare at his students and casually drink whiskey (like its coffee, without even flinching) on his down time. What's up with this guy? Really the only purpose for Bart's role is to give obvious script fodder to the viewer so the main character continues to try and figure out their situation. Finally topping off the disappointment of actors to be seen here is veteran Keith David playing the head of the local police who does nothing but ignores Ashley's claims. He's probably the best part but also the worst because of how he's not used to the film's advantage. It's Keith David! As for the villain himself, he too is sorely lacking any kind of development. With a backstory rushed in at the first five minutes at the beginning of the film it only shows how much thought was put into this character.

Apparently this character stitched his eyes and mouth shut. First, how did he do it on his own? Plus, how can he still say understandable words and clearly see? And where did his nose go? Was it surgically removed? Making things even more confusing is how this villain operates. How does he know when you type "I did it for the lulz" three times? What if you do this to two different people at the same time from two different locations? There's no motive for any actions this individual takes. It makes no sense. The kills in this film are nothing to praise either. There's nothing that looks overly painful or gross. It's very standard with typical stabbings and shootouts. The scares are pointless too because all that Mr. writer/director knows how to do is jump scares. Lastly, the musical score to this production made by Dave Porter was of no importance as well. Almost entirely atmospheric, the film score is largely dull in several areas of the running time. There's no main theme or recognizable motifs for anything. It's really close to not worth it.

Aside from okay cinematography, internet and veteran actors having roles in the film, there's not much to enjoy other than how ludicrously inept the characters are made from a script with enormous plot holes. The horror aspect is MIA and the violence has no invention behind it.
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5/10
Not really what I was expecting...
vengeance2011 December 2012
Warning: Spoilers
To be honest I really don't know how to judge this film. I mean the trailer was interesting & made me think it was going to be something really good! A Basic slasher film similar to Scream with obviously a different story line to it.

***Contains Spoilers***

Unfortunately it was not what I got. I was expecting some really bloody moments & for it to be a bit more straight forward. The film is basically about a girl who moves into this town & makes friends with people including a boy who gets bullied. Then, they mention the Urban Legend about this killer called "Smiley" who can appear behind someone & viciously stab them on video chat if the person on the other end of the video chat were to type in "I did it for the lulz" 3 times he'd come.

They try it out for themselves & bingo it happens! Then she becomes paranoid throughout the film thinking she sees him everywhere including her friends around her who seemingly think she's mad (including the police), especially when she thinks he was chasing her down the street! It then turns out (when she falls out the window & brakes her spine)in the end, everyone was plotting against her even the so called victims in the video chats who got stabbed (especially the fat guy who, by chance was one of the guys in on the whole scheme which was a bit hard to believe considering the girls randomly selected a random person to chat & it happened to be one of the guys in on it - far fetched by miles), the boy that got bullied & seemingly shot him near the end of the film. Which changed everything as to what the audience thought about the characters who were nice to her & then replied "That's awesome!" when they all mentioned to those who didn't know who were posing as the victims/killers! Then suddenly BAM The killer happens to be real after killing one of his friends on video chat surprising him the guy who made the killer up!

Now. That's the part I just didn't get or truly understand! Why!? What did she do to them!? Why her!? Why not someone else!? Why do it in the first place!? It was just a dark humoured horror that didn't add up! Just nothing added up & it was a shame as to why she got killed really! I hated it so much! But I gave the film 5 stars because of the killers appearance & the name which was spot on for a sadistic dark horror film like this using a great contrast, to be honest it was unique but the story line was messed up in so many levels!
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7/10
LULZ at the low rating
begob23 October 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Interesting movie.

Almost a take on Mulholland Drive - sweet all-American girl commits suicide, and we get to figure out why. It doesn't quite get there in the end, with the neat wrap up, but once the story reveals she's been on lithium the whole thing goes from good college slasher horror to a higher state of weirdness. Plus you get a Coen brothers style take on our understanding of existence - not standard horror material.

That's what I thought as I watched, so I have no idea why horror fans rate this movie so low. Time will tell.

Plus the lead actress is a honey, with a great range of expressions.
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4/10
If you do it for the lulz...
MrGKB25 September 2013
Warning: Spoilers
...you're going to die of frustration because there's nothing funny about this ill-conceived mess of a film. There was a good story in there somewhere, but auteur Michael J. "Totally Sketch" Gallagher fails to extend his online video chops to encompass a full-length feature. I can only award him a classic smiley-face button with a bullet hole in its forehead for his efforts.

The premise is somewhat intriguing: a new urban legend has it that if you click your heels together together three times--er, I mean, *believe really, really hard*--and then type "I did it for the lulz" to someone else on a video-chat line, then a mysterious boogeyman named "Smiley" will materialize behind them and kill them. Woooo! And then he'll come kill you. Or something like that; things get a bit murky as the plot hits heavy turbulence and then crashes and burns in the final reel. Too bad; there was a germ of a decent thriller there somewhere, but it never had much of a chance, what with all the philosophically desperate chitchat going on in an attempt to salvage the nonsensical plot.

Or, let's put it this way: someone didn't pay very close attention in screen writing class. Blake Snyder and Syd Field would not approve of this script; both would dump it in the Ted Sturgeon file.

The acting isn't as shoddy as some wags on this site would have you believe; it's the script and direction that are at fault more than anything. The real pros, Keith "The Thing" David and Roger "The Event" Bart do tend to make the others look green, but lead Caitlin "Vanessa & Jan" Gerard isn't awful. In fact, she reminded me somewhat of Jamie Lee "Halloween" Curtis with her coltish awkwardness and penetrating scream. The rest of the ensemble, mostly YouTubers apparently, don't come off as well, but like I said, I think this is more a failure of artistic vision than anything else.

Back to the drawing board, kids.
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1/10
Disaster
educallejero24 August 2018
Low budget? I can understand. But this is next-gen bad acting, old cliche bad writing and a really dumb "story", overall.

This seemed rushed. They got the idea for the killer, and then they just didn't care about anything else, knowing well they were going to get their money back, just with that. Disaster.
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1/10
Who thought this was a good idea?
Java_Joe23 July 2019
Whenever something new comes along there's going to be a horror movie based around it. Often times these movies fail in what they're trying to portray. Smiley, unfortunately, is one of these movies. It's dull, it's stupid and it stars youtube people.

There have been inventive horror movies before based on all sorts of things but while the internet can be a scary place, there have been exactly zero scary movies based on the internet. It's like people think if they try one more time it's going to work. But unfortunately they don't know what they're doing .

How's this strike you? There's an urban legend of meeting somebody in a chatroom somewhere and if you type in "I did it for the Lulz" three times some guy will magically show up and kill the person you're talking to. Is that scary? No it isn't but that's the plot to this entire movie.

Opening kill girl logs into a chat room and is killed by said Smiley character. One girl who witnessed this gets stalked by said character and shenanigans ensue. And possibly the worst part of this is that instead of getting actual actors to play the roles of the college students, they cast youtube "stars". I guess that's because it was an internet movie and they're on the internet?

It's a stupid movie that relies too heavily on jump scares, tired horror cliches and a lack of any real scares. Give it a pass and watch something better.
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1/10
This movie took my Smile off, FOREVER!
TheNonSmoker11 September 2020
This movie doesn't even deserve my long comment, but still I'm here being forced to write a wrong comment =(
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5/10
Smiley Gives College Friends & Roommates A Bad Name
buckikris7 March 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I was surprised by this movie after reading all the horrid reviews from the IMDb site. I didn't think the movie was that bad; for a horror movie of today. I guess the one reason why I liked it was it dealt with an Urban Legend. I have never heard of the Urban Legend Smiley so I don't know if it's a made up legend or what. The movie begins with a girl babysitting, she gets paid and goes home. She gets on this chat site where anything goes. She meets this guy who says I Did It For The Lulz. Once this is said 3 times this guy named Smiley will appear and kill the person it's said to. After I saw the beginning it made me think about rearranging my computer desk.

The movie then picks up with a young lady getting ready to go to College for the first time. She is with her father and he drops her off at an off-campus house close to the University. She just lost her mother and she is emotionally fragile. At first her roommate seems like a really cool person inviting her to parties and introducing her to her friends. They go to this college Anonymous party, were it's your typical college party. People meet, get drunk, and smoke weed among other things. The next day she wake up and doesn't remember a thing, but her and her roommate do find this recorded murder involving Smiley. This Urban Legend starts to get to her, she sees things and finally her and her roomy call Smiley on a chat site. Thinking all these murders are real she goes to her college shrink and finally to the police. The police thinks she is nuts because no bodies have been found. Little does she know that all this is fake and her so called friends are behind it, for what I don't know. The movie ends tragically and her so called friends are twisted.

As for the movie it's not that bad but you do have to wait to the end for the twist. I am normally not into todays horror films, more into the old school Halloween/Friday the 13th ones. I have to say this was a good try and it does leave a message BEWARE OF PEOPLE YOU MEET THEY CAN BE WOLVES IN SHEEPS CLOTHING.

THX, Kris L. CocKayne
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1/10
Smiley (2012) - A Disaster of "YouTube" Proportions!
nickmesafilms22 October 2012
Warning: 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".
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2/10
Beware what you type online in Smiley
rgblakey2 March 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Within the horror genre the most important style besides the haunting trend seems to be the slasher. Sadly more often than not these films fall short, but there are a few that really deliver. These films require a certain formula to work, but most importantly a memorable killer to do the work. The cover art alone for Smiley promises that you will not soon forget this character, but will the film deliver the same effect?

Smiley follows a young girl who meets some new friends at college where she learns about the urban legend of an online killer known as Smiley. When she and her friend decide to test out this legend which sends her into a state of paranoia that Smiley is now after her, but has this legend really come to life or is she just losing her mind? The story to this film is actually pretty effective in doing something a bit more current with the idea, but sadly falls pretty short in delivery. The acting is pretty bad, which is usually acceptable for this genre, but the film moves so slowly at times you can't help but be distracted by it. The killer itself is pretty cool, but doesn't do enough in the overall film to really stand out as much as it should have. The kills in the film were pretty average at best, which would have stepped it up so much more if they had just pushed them over the top. What really sucks most, is this film sports a pretty cool twist ending that probably should have been somewhere earlier in the film so they could go even darker as opposed to leaving it open for a possible sequel.

Thankfully this character is memorable and intriguing enough that another entry into this series would be welcome as long as they just let loose in the next film. The ending certainly sets it up to go in some great directions, it's just a bummer you have to struggle a bit to get through this film to get to it. If you are looking for something new in the slasher genre, then give Smiley a try as the ending is pretty cool, but keep your expectations low for the rest of it.
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1/10
a new Horrid movie
dmuel18 October 2012
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 time.

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.
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