Halloween Bitesize Treats: The Smiling Man

Although released two years ago to much acclaim and many many awards, I hadn’t seen A.J. Briones’ The Smiling Man until recently, and now I can’t sleep or go in to the kitchen.

A.J. Briones is a very talented visual effects artist that has worked on such blockbusters as War For The Planet of the Apes, Iron Man 2 and The Wolverine, and he puts his skills to effective use in his second directorial effort. Briones’ debut short was the highly enjoyable zombie thriller Carolina Parakeet, for his follow-up, he strips things down to deliver a small yet profoundly unsettling film.

I am a big fan of horrors that take a smaller view, a zombie epidemic is scary, but it’s not a situation the viewer can relate to as nobody (that we know of) has encountered a horde of the undead. We might have all etched out our zombie survival guides and kits, but all that planning goes out the window as soon as I hear an odd sound from downstairs. Just as well I included snacks in my zombie survival kit because I’m never leaving my room again.

The world of The Quiet Place wouldn’t have been as insanely terrifying if it was on a bigger scale. Carving out a small corner of a global event allows for more intimate stories to be told. The Smiling Man isn’t about a worldwide phenomenon; instead, it’s an insular tale of terror lovingly crafted. Atmospherically shot with a haunting score, The Smiling Man won’t be to everybody’s taste, but with buckets of tension and some fantastic make-up, it’s an edge of your seat watch.

As always, you’ll find no spoilers on this page, the official logline reads; A little girl home alone finds herself face-to-face with pure evil. To find out more about the film, you can check out their website or their Facebook Page. Happy viewing!

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