Smiley (2012) Poster


User Reviews

Review this title
80 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
The New Face of Failure
Dr. Monster7 July 2013
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.
25 out of 27 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Smiley had me Smiling
Chris O12 October 2012
Warning: 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".
52 out of 66 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
total letdown
myt0112 October 2012
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.
74 out of 100 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
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.
48 out of 65 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Potential but failed
withitnow2 February 2015
The premise of this film had potential to be a really good enjoyable slasher but it failed. Low budget doesn't always mean a bad film but think it does here. Caitlin Gerard as Ashley is appalling in this. The rest of the cast is better but not by much. Still watched it. It was OK to pass the time. Needs more gore to be a slasher horror or needs more psychological twists to be effective. I can watch many different types of horrors and whether they cost 10 dollars or 10 million dollars to make, usually I find something enjoyable about my favourite genre. Not this time. I got bored. And Ashley screaming just made me want to vomit. I think even if the acting was slightly more convincing it would be a better watch. Alas it isn't so.
6 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Waste of my time
Iesha Davis13 October 2012
Warning: 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.
29 out of 39 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Worst movie of the year
Pictoron23 October 2012
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.
48 out of 68 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
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".
27 out of 38 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
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")
14 out of 18 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
This is why the internet's dead.
TheOverBEARingCritic14 October 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Spoiler: I did it for the lulz I did it for the lulz I did it for the lulz.

... 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.
23 out of 35 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
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 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.
21 out of 35 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
One Of the Crappier Slashers I've Seen In a Long Time
catfishman12 March 2014
Yeah, so I watched 2012's Smiley last night.

It's a piece of crap with a stupid plot, a stupid attempt at a "twist"… and I'm sure some freakin' hipster will defend it as the direction of the new "Artcore" movement.

Just because you call a piece of crap a rose, doesn't make it a rose.

So, a girl starts college, and her partying new dorm mate invites her to a party. Once there she's introduced to "Smiley" – You get in an Internet chat room with someone, and while you are there, you type "I did it for the lulz" three times, and magically something bad happens to the person on the other side of the chat window. Not a terrible idea for a horror movie, but unfortunately, it is a terrible horror movie. I'm not even 100% sure where it went off the track, but it was one of those movies where you just end up waiting for it to end.
11 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
This movie is so poor I made an account just to warn others
unnamedhorror21 February 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I had heard of this movie while browsing horror movie boards and thought "Awesome, a new serial killer slasher film finally!" As a huge fan of the genre, but knowing nothing about the film/actors, I went in to this one excited but with no real expectations. EVEN with NO expectations I was SEVERELY disappointed. I truly feel bad for Keith David having been involved in this, he is a tremendous actor with undeniable presence and should not have to bear the shame of being attached to this god-awful "movie."

PLOT To start with, the entire premise of the movie is completely and utterly asinine. It's what an internet savvy pre-teen would come up with if asked to create a horror movie. A serial killer is summoned via the internet by the magic words "I did it for the lulz." Seriously?!? "I did it for the lulz" is the best magic phrase the writers could pull from their collective asses? Things only get worse as the tension is never properly built up, thanks in large part to simply non-existent writing.

On top of this, the "writers" chose to shoe-horn in internet references like they were stuffing cotton into the holes of their sinking ship of a movie. It didn't work.

ACTING Keith David is a fantastic actor. Roger Bart is also quite skilled. That being said, everyone else in this movie is absolutely wretched. Even the most simple dialog comes across as forced and trite. The character development simply isn't there and every character is left flat and one-dimensional.

CINEMATOGRAPHY Independent films have a wonderful tradition of being free of conventional approaches to cinema. Experimentation is encouraged. This movie of course offers nothing new, just a small handful of recycled jump scares and no innovation. I'm not surprised given the obvious lack of talent and skill possessed by the creative/production team.

SUMMATION Absolutely not worth watching by anyone at any point for any reason. The entire experience feels like someone came up with a crappy premise and rushed it through production to try and capitalize on Shane Dawson's fleeting internet notoriety. There is no aspect of this movie that even deserves a single star rating, I implore any readers of this review to skip this one and consider it time not wasted. I would not be surprised if this is either 1) Swept quickly under the rug by even Dawson as a terrible mistake or 2) Ends Dawsons' "career." AS WELL IT SHOULD.
5 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
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…
9 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Honestly not that bad
d b21 November 2012
OK so first of all, this is a movie about stupid internet culture. Therefore it should be expected that there are going to be a LOT of stupid internet references. That said, I think they did a very good job at capturing said culture; being young-ish and working in IT, I felt like all the awkward nerds and their motivations were VERY believable. As utterly stupid as this premise and many lines of dialog (including the main "i did it for the lulz") are, that is sadly exactly how 4chan and related internet/meme/"hackivist" culture is. Anyway, this is slightly different than most teen slashers in that they seem to have gotten regular people to play the roles which makes it appear cheaper than Hollywood movies, yet it adds a gritty & quasi-realistic slant that is absent in the status quo of Hollywood beautiful people cast of stereotypes. This is by no means a fantastic movie, but I found it to be very watchable and fairly enjoyable for a low budget teen slasher. There is some really, really bad CGI (not much) and sadly the kills are generally weak / too few and far between / there isn't much gore (however there is a good twist ending which explains why the second part is as such). Overall mediocre, but this one kind of feels like Scream for a new generation - instead of the constant stupid movie references, you have internet references. I think you really have to be aware of internet culture to "understand" this movie, otherwise a lot of it won't make sense at all and it will seem very silly/stupid.
14 out of 26 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
The worst slasher film of all time (seriously)
ThomasBleedPHD17 February 2016
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.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Smiley? More like disappointing.
hotcandicenice14 October 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Spoilers ahead.

So smiley starts off, it looks to be another chill or lazy Friday night viewing. I couldn't prepare myself for just how bad this turned out. It starts off by following the generic formula we've grown so accustomed to. We are introduced to our characters. But whatever, you can read the plot synopsis. Let's get into what truly sucked about this whole experience. First up, the film builds the usual tension and we are instantly assigned our cut out cardboard characters. The ' hot slutty or dumb girl ' and the nice people. This isn't my problem. My problem starts with the film trying its hardest to break the status quo. What is up with that? Since when has a horror movie ever been good if it doesn't include an epic or otherwise cool finale or big reveal?

This film constantly has you wondering who Smiley is or just what it is. This could easily have been turned into an epic Donny darko type film. But instead we learn that this whole film was an outdated meme generator full of bad acting and crap pacing for 1 hr 30mins long. OK yes, the class room scenes did get you thinking but they didn't at all contribute to how stupid this whole mess turned out.

Utterly disappointed 2/10 and I don't even know why I gave it that.
8 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
THIS BAD - watch the smurfs, its more entertaining than this!!!
markhaazen14 October 2012
This is the WORST movie I've ever seen in my life. No, I'm not joking, this isn't one of those flavor of the month bad movies I've seen, this really is the worst movie I've seen. I literally felt brain-cells dying while watching. But how bad is it you may ask, well, just listen.

I love slasher films like scream,urban legend,i know what you did last summer... This movie was obviously cheaply made and was not striving for success, more or less it is just a purposely made thrash film. A slasher thats not scary ore gory there's Nothing!!! I do respect how hilarious and overly stupid they made characters... but from a serious stand point. Its just awfully made but it obviously was not intended to be high budget and quality... to ANY amount.

In the end, I never thought that I would rate a movie 0/10 stars. THIS MOVIE IS THE WORST FILM OF ALL TIME! DO NOT WATCH THIS! IT WILL MAKE YOU WANT TO HURT SOMEONE!
16 out of 34 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
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.
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
The mask was scary...
ihearthorrorfilm17 February 2013
Can you say HOT MESS? I hate writing bad reviews because I think people who make horror movies are awesome, but this one was just painfully bad. The main actress was just horrible and the script was unintentionally funny due to it just being awful. It's tragic because the killer's face was really scary and the idea of being killed on the internet could have been interesting, but sadly, the story was executed poorly. I would definitely pass on this one unless you and a group of friends like to get together to watch really bad movies.

Please like me on Facebook! We love getting suggestions and warnings on everything horror:
7 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
It's really not a terrible film...
Levi Moore26 October 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I don't see why everyone dislikes this movie. I believe that the acting, while not the best, was somewhat believable. THE FILM IS NOT SCARY AT ALL. This film is more of a comedy than horror. What could be expected from an ensemble of YouTube stars? The "killer" is creative, even though "I did it for the lolz" is possible the WORST tag line ever. Although it is very predictable, this film is suspenseful from the beginning. I was actually surprised by the ending, even though I have seen numerous endings exactly like this. I gave this film 7 stars for 2 reasons: 1. It is from a new director, so it's probably not going to be a blockbuster, and 2. It is a great way to spend 90 minutes of your time. If you like horror comedies or YouTube comedians, you will most likely enjoy this.
8 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
"Jumpscare...Scared Yet?"
PauliusKekys30 October 2012
To make this clear this is one of the worst movies I've seen recently, not that I've seen many since I try to do some research and only see the good ones through, having limited time and all. Yet this movie somehow managed to slip, I've heard it was bad, like one-sided bad but still there was this mystical force that not only made me see it but forced me to sit through all of it. So even if I tell you not to see it, I trust this same vibe to suck you in as well, it will help if you get warned though...

To make my first and, probably, greatest gripe with this movie I have to announce this - "Smiley" had three jump-scares before the actual title of the film, is there some sort of record for that? This only gets worse as jump-scares come and go and just like epilepsy, that you may get from watching this movie, it does it in spasms. Few minutes with loads of jump-scares just shoved into a ball and slapped into your face. Oh and did I mention that most of the jump-scares are fake-outs as well? That is really disappointing as I felt that the concept was actually good and from the trailer alone, I was really hyped.

After the jump-scares end, the movie just goes into the "smart" mode where it tries to tell you some sort of message but fails miserably for some reason. Sure it repeats a lot of horror titles but given their success and wide variety that can't really be helped. The message and the whole psychological mask this movie tries to sell out, completely hits the wall as you just want the movie to end and the whole "smart- jump-scare-repeat" really throws a great concept off.

The actors weren't something that shined, but most of them didn't really have anything to shine with or for as the characters are pretty much as cliché as it gets, once again a common trait in a slasher flick. The main character (I barely even remember her name really) is an exception, she is just a palette of characters slapped into one blob of randomness, if you try to drink every time her personality takes a full turn, you'll be drunk before half of the movie as she goes "geek-good girl-bad girl- tortured emo-like soul" every once in a while, it's hard to blame the actress not getting into it.

This movie also has romance...Somewhat. The romance feels forced, out of place, happens instantly and for absolutely no reason, it's just like "We're a thing one frame later" kind of thing. Some thing that people try to like in the movie is the ending, which is understanding for it's sort of a ripoff of a more classic flick with a possible sequel hint (?!). Also there was absolutely no reason for the ending and the time for it's explanation is wasted for more "smart" section instead of actual explanation.

The only thing the movie actually got right was the concept and the design of the Smiley as it really was the buying thing for me. In today's internet culture this kind of internet, urban legend movie just had to be made, I just can't help but wish it could've been made differently with psychological factor being the selling point not the cheap jump-scares. If you're ripping off movies, look at Grudge, The Eye (original) and so on instead of classic ones as over time, they've become a ripoff of themselves.

Overall this movie is awesome before it begins, after the starting point it completely fails to deliver, trying to be smart and psychological yet offering no connection with the characters or development, instead giving forced and fake jump-scares and declaring itself "horror" film. If only it was made the way it intends to it would've been so much more and given us another epic figure as Smiley deserves to share the spotlight with Freddy, Jason, Michael Myers and others...
8 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A viral video horror!
trnjamesbond22 November 2012
Warning: Spoilers
As far as b-movies go these days I'd say this is worth a watch. I'm a fan of some of the stars in this film, including Shane Dawson, and Steve Greene, yes I know they are all Youtube actors. But I must admit Michael Gallagher did a splendid job in this full feature production.

And yes I know, the director is also a Youtube sensation and I must admit, parts of the scene continuity were a little out of focus, some mistakes were made in between takes, but still over all this is not a bad re-boot of the old story of urban legends, except it's up to date, with current internet lingo. I even had to go online and look up some phrases from this film in the Urban Dictionary to get what some of the characters were talking about.

I'd say this wasn't a bad movie, it wasn't the best either, I know I rated it an 8 out of 10, yes that's pretty high. But I'm rating it like this on a B-movie scale, not an epic multi-million dollar scale, so keep this in mind.

In turn I thought this film was fun, the ending is was well done, with the idea of an actual internet cult really surprised me. The gore wasn't great, but none the less, it wasn't bad considering the budget. The acting was decent, not one character felt fake or as they say "over acting". Some of the scenes seemed cheaply shot, but most of the film looked of higher quality.

Regardless, the director, Michael Gallagher made a really entertaining film, that tapped into what is considered "cliche", but still came up with something innovative, interesting and fresh.

It also delves into some films such as "Scream" and many others, but I think it has merit and deserves a watch.

I liked it!
4 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
I think the other reviews are unfair.
day_andy24 October 2012
I got a lot more than I expected, the psychological ride was better than most horror movies. Actually, I wouldn't call this a horror, it is a psychological drama. At times, sure the editing made it so the acting appeared bad, but I'd say well acted. The lead actress is very good, screaming annoys me though(hard to avoid in this movie!). The YouTube actors also did quite a good job. It more of a homage to 80,90's horror movies, which I loved! Jason, Freddy, the fact no one believes the victim. I also noticed some pretty shoddy continuity in the opening kill scene, not subtle, blatant continuity conflict. Either way, I stand by my 7/10(6.5/10).
6 out of 19 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews