Brief review: From 23-year-old director, Michael J. Gallagher, “Smiley” is yet another poor attempt at slasher – a bold take on a modern urban legend, that doesn’t really work. Even from the daft premise and the ridiculous opening sequence, you could tell that “Smiley” is going to be one silly slasher film filled with hackneyed cliches, and it turns out exactly that. Simply imagine Wes Craven’s “Scream” meets Bernard Rose’s “Candyman” with a contemporary twist, and little to no imagination put into the story, and you get “Smiley”. The movie shamelessly rips-off the above mention horror classics, which makes it and its director even more pathetic. The young director obviously “did it for the lulz” (as the most popular line in the movie says), because pretty much everything about this movie is ludicrous to the point of being laughable. Worst of all, the suspense and thrills in “Smiley” are nonexistent. The only ‘scary stuff’ this flick provides its thrill-seeking audience with, is predictable behind-your-back killer attacks, and quick deaths with too little blood. Smiley itself is creepy-looking enough, but his dullness won’t let him turn into a horror legend. The technical aspects of the film are also below par. It has a cheap TV feel to it, due to Gallagher’s lifeless direction and low production values. On a positive note, Caitlin Gerard delivers a genuine lead performance, despite the awful script she has to work with.
Overall summary: Unaware of its utter stupidity, “Smiley” confidently attempts to introduces us a new slasher icon (wannabe), but actually ends up being yet another generic teen horror with silly premise, copycat ideas, no thrills, and a killer that is very soon to be forgotten.
Overall CineMarvellous! Rating for Smiley: 3.75 Stars out of 10