Movie Review-Smiley

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Did you know if you talk to a random stranger online and you get to talking and you want that person dead if you type in the chat field I did it for the lulz three times, that an urban legend named Smiley would kill them? Smiley is the latest in internet based horror films that assembles the perfect cast of characters for a film like this. The film centers around new kid in college Ashley, as you can guess Ashley has had her issues before coming to school of dealing with the death of her mom. Right from the start, you just know Ashley would be the perfect horror victim; she is naïve, clueless and just every time she opens her mouth bad horror dialogue comes out. Well the opening few minutes of the film is more promising then the next 90, when we get a young lady who tells the little girl she is babysitting about talking to strangers in a chat room. So, what does she do, does it herself and she meets a guy who is cute to her who basically tells her she is going to die and that I did it for the lulz three times, and Smiley comes along and slits her throat and she disappears. The issue with a start like that is why not keep going with the momentum why throw us into a story of a new girl in college that we are not wanting to be involved with, in favor of going back to the violent opening.

Well as you can guess eventually at a party, Ashley becomes a witness to a video making its rounds around school of Smiley killing someone. At first, she is freaked out but when the guys at the party tell her that there is nothing wrong and it was a hoax she thinks it really was a hoax, until her and her roommate Proxy decides to see if this Urban Legend is real. They go online and talk to a guy and they decide to see if they could summon Smiley to kill him, which happens. As you can guess, after the event Ashley starts to feel Smiley is after her and she starts having visions and nightmares. This film was frustrating to me, it had a great serial killer premise, some of the kills were decent, and the ending was promising. It was everything else that made me hate this film. This film tried to pound the audience with all the dumb jump scares it could which I am a fan of a good jumps care, but at one every scene just over stupid stuff like someone just walking into a room to talk, it got to be overkill. This film contains no characters of any kind of interest, or dialogue that you would want to listen to or follow.

This film had sparks of originality but did not do anything with it; instead it favored redundancy and complacency. There is a scene of dialogue between Ashley and her college professor which is a lawsuit waiting to happen, and you know no college teacher would ever talk to a student in that kind of way unless he wanted to be fired or brought up on sexual harassment charges. In this film you get maybe 9 minutes of the killer, and maybe 5 of those he is actually killing, the rest of the film is just dialogue on top of dialogue that each time Ashley opened her mouth you just wanted to shut your ears even more. My biggest complaint with this film is the way it ended, I thought that was genius and it worked. Why the movie did not try to live up to the opening scene and the last five minutes is beyond me. This is almost like a gross tasting sandwich that you love the bread but despise everything else. This film should have been so much more, and could have been so much more, why did it settle for this in the end? There is no way someone watched this end result and said, “I think we have a great horror film or even watchable film on our hands”.

I love the Smiley concept and wish they would have done more with it. This film should have been so much more.

3 out of 10