DVD Review: SMILEY

PrintE-mail Written by Whitney Scott Bain

Review: Smiley / Cert: R / Director: Michael J. Gallagher / Screenplay: Michael J. Gallagher, Glasgow Phillips / Starring: Caitlin Gerard, Melanie Papalia, Andrew James Allen, Shane Dawson, Keith David, Roger Bart / Release Date: Out Now (Currently Region 1 only)

Freshman college student Ashley (Gerard) is invited by her roommate Proxy (Papalia) to a party where they engage in Skype-like chat room hijinks in order to test out the urban legend of a demented serial killer with his eyes and mouth carved into a smiley face. After choosing a suitable online loser, they type in “I did it for the lulz” three times, and Smiley appears behind the unsuspecting victim, with the practical jokers believing that it’s all fun and games… unless you’re on the receiving end. As Ashley probes deeper into Smiley’s mythos, she begins to lose touch with reality and is horrified to discover that Smiley is real and she’s next on his list.

Don’t look for the scare factor in this one. It's as if Gallagher took snippets from The Ring, combining them with Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger into a new character channelling M. Night Shylaman, all the while thinking: hey, how’s that for a twist! The 'shocks' and revelations are predictable, the characters (aside from Keith David and Roger Bart who do the best with what they have to work with) unsympathetic, with Papalia as Proxy in the running to be the most irritating female sidekick in the history of horror films.

Silly and illogical and poorly written and directed, with a giant hole of a plot that Parker could drive Lady Penelope’s FAB1 piggybacked on Thunderbird 2 through, the movie is a complete waste of time. Gallagher should have taken his time and thought the story out. Instead you get a Scooby-Doo type ending unmasking who the real killer is, then you find out that Smiley is actually real and out there committing his dastardly deeds, but wait… there’s more! Stay for the end credits and you get a real surprise! Then again, you’d have more fun watching paint dry.

Extras: None


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