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.