You can’t help but wonder when a film was originally written when even being released in 2013 the main character doesn’t own a car and relies on a slider phone she can barely text on. Not to mention the dated references to urban legends, online chatting, The Truman Show, Punk’d, Skynet from the Terminator series, MacBooks, and so many red herrings the ending becomes a ludicrous disaster. But at least it makes one thing my friend pointed at while watching it — without giving anything away, the killer is supposed to be an incarnation of evil yet it sure looks an awful lot like someone wearing a mask most of the time.
The new horror movie Smiley is destined for the bargain bin. From co-writer/director Michael J. Gallagher, feels like it was hastily written way back in the mid-’90s then rewritten when Gallagher finally found his financing. Even the DVD cover art is in the blatant style of Scream, Urban Legend, Valentine, etc. It’s not even that Smiley is horribly made (I’ve seen way worse in theaters); it’s just so dated already.
Ashley (Caitlin Gerard) has just arrived at college where Dad (Billy St. John, a low-rent Gary Busey if there ever was one) drops her off to live with Proxy (Melanie Papalia) who’s renting a room in a house her parents can’t sell. That night, Proxy talks Ashley into hitting the “Anonymous Party” at Zane’s (Andrew James Allen) house. Before you know it, we find out that Stacy (Nikki Limo), the girl killed by “Smiley” (Michael Traynor) in the opening sequence, was killed by Zane and his friends after typing “I did it for the lulz” three times, ala Bloody Mary. They all assure Ashley that it’s just a prank and there’s no way the girl can really be dead because no one’s even found her body. (See what kind of logic we’re dealing with here?)