Eventually, Ashley unleashes Smiley upon a random chat-roulette victim and starts to investigate whether Smiley is real or not. Meanwhile, Ashley starts to question her own reality since she’s been off her meds (lithium) for six months which she was prescribed after being diagnosed as bipolar after the death of her mother. Is Smiley just an urban legend and a huge internet prank or is he really chasing Ashley across campus and stalking her dreams Freddy Kruger style?
None of it really matters as the end is a huge cop-out as Gallagher and co-writer Glasgow Phillips dig themselves deeper and deeper into a whodunit of who cares proportions. Especially given the fact that they think they have something to say about the internet age but it’s nothing we didn’t hear 10 years ago. How they managed to talk Keith David to show up as a detective is beyond me but at least he seems to be having fun, along with Roger Bart as the ethics professor – one of the way too many red herrings.
The whole movie isn’t the worst cobbled together thing ever. Although, there is the cliché overabundance of characters that can’t see beyond their peripheral vision, this being a horror movie, it’s all part of the game. Some scenes seem like they were looped in post-production but probably sound worse than had they used the original recording and also wind up being out of sync. The ending is the biggest disaster of the whole thing which definitely kills any reason to see the film. The only thing that would make things interesting is if a DVD reviewer were to type out “I did it for lulz” three times to see if anything happens to the filmmakers. Just kidding…
Smiley is released in an anamorphic 2.35: 1 ratio and looks pretty crisp for DVD. I never expect to be blown away with a DVD transfer, but it looked pretty nice upconverted on my Samsung 3D Blu-ray player. Blacks were never overwhelming and shadows never appeared too muted. The 5.1 Dolby Digital served its purpose far more in the sense of surround effects and music, the dialogue is a huge mess however, sounding flat and muffled for the most part. At least I didn’t have to crank the volume up to hear what was being said, even if none of it was really worth paying attention to anyway.