Director – Tim Hunter (Gotham, Scream: The TV Series)
Starring – Ronen Rubinstein (Dead of Summer, Orange is the New Black), Mia Serafino (Crowded, Shameless), and Crispin Glover (Simon Says, Back to the Future)
Release Date – 2020
Rating – 2/5
A few weeks ago I received the press release for the new horror film Smiley Face Killers that featured Crispon Glover. I almost became obsessed with it right away. The artwork didn’t really speak to me but I was very curious about a new horror film that featured Crispin Glover.
I received an awesome care package a few days after receiving the press release that had some awesome promotional items for the film. This only excited me even more to see this one. A few days back I finally got a copy of the film on blu to review and the second I had some time to check it out I tossed it in.
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows a young college student who has stopped taking his prescribed meds. He soon starts to feel like he is being watched and someone is messing with his phone. Before long he has alienated himself and turned his friends against him. That’s when those that have been following him reveals themselves. They then kidnap him, take him to an undisclosed location where they torture him and then dump the body in the river. **Spoiler Alert**
I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to being confused by this one. The movie, for a good portion, feels like an angsty drama that you could find on CW. Nothing really horror oriented but a lot of people bickering and being overly dramatic. Then the last portion of the film kicks in and we get a pretty good horror story but it’s not enough to save it.
The acting in this one isn’t bad but the characters are so fucking flat and bland. They all lack personalities and if they were a food they would be unseasoned oatmeal with just a little too much water. Seems like too much thought was put into the story and not who the story was about so the cast had nothing to work with.
The story for this one is more drama than horror. However, if the film would have kept the intensity the last 20 minutes of the film had it would have been the contender for best horror release of the year. I really struggled with the first portion of the film but the last 20 minutes really hit home. It was brutal, relentless, and everything I was looking for. Sadly, it was such a small portion of the film that I can’t justify recommending it to viewers.
Finally, the film waits until the last stretch to deliver the goods but when it does it does it in a big way. The kills really impressed me and they hit when I was least expecting it. They were fantastic and the practical effects were nothing short of amazing. If they would have done this throughout the entire film you would find genre fans rabid for this release. Overall, Smiley Face Killers is another forgettable release for horror and should be ignore just like another horror film with a similar title, Smiley. It has some great death scenes but it’s not enough to save this one.