Smiley

Handsome chap isn't he?!
Handsome chap isn’t he?!

Smiley is a 2012 psychological slasher film about a mysterious masked man who can be summoned by typing “I did it for the lulz” three times to someone via online video chat rooms (kind of like chat roulette, if you’ve ever used it). He appears behind them and kills them. A bi-polar student who’s still grieving her mother’s suicide falls in with the wrong crowd when she starts college, and the mysterious and aptly named ‘Smiley’ is doing the rounds and killing lots of people. It’s not your average stalk and slash despite following a group of teenagers. It’s actually quite a unique premise and although flawed in more ways than one it’s a good film to watch with friends, which is what I was doing this evening! It’s everything you want from a daft horror flick; it’s gory and jumpy and easy to watch.smiley_4 There is quite a twist at the end but it seems quite forced, almost a desperate attempt to be more than just another stalk and slash film and it comes across as quite try-hard. It’s not as clever as it seems to think it is, perhaps. But the twist is fairly unpredictable and the ending is satisfying enough. My main issue with the film is probably just me being picky, but who says ‘lulz’?! Presumably “I did it for the lulz” Is another way of saying I did it for a laugh, or perhaps for the ‘lols’. But what even is ‘lulz’?! Lol is just a text-talk way of saying ‘laugh out loud’ and obviously it fits with the generation that this film is aimed at…so why not just say ‘lols’ because lulz doesn’t make any sense at all! smileyBut that could just be me being picky. Another more obvious issue is that our killer can’t see. His eyes are sewn up into slits. On top of that he surely can’t breathe either being as his mouth is also somewhat sewn into a permanent smile. Horror films obviously don’t care too much for what makes a realistic villain; just look at the classics like A Nightmare on Elm Street and Halloween. But not being able to see or breathe is kind of a big issue and renders the villain difficult to invest in completely. It’s a flawed film, but it’s a good horror for a night in with friends. It’s jumpy, conventional and enjoyable. It delivers exactly what it sets out to and it’s very much a case of what you see is what you get. The attempted twist at the end isn’t too far fetched for it to be ridiculous, and nor is it difficult to understand so no head scratching needed! It’s a good bit of fun, but not necessarily a ‘good’ film.

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6 thoughts on “Smiley

  1. Funny, I’ve been seeing the “Smiley” thing for awhile now and this is the first time I’ve seen the term lulz except for once earlier tonight on Facebook…LOL Great review though…LULZ

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    1. I’ve literally never heard the term ‘Lulz’ until today!! Stupid word, it looks like it should be short for lullaby or something! It doesn’t work though…we promptly logged on to chat roulette and tested it out!

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