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Cast: Abby Chally, Mellisa Chally, Strange Dave

Director: AJ Briones

Genre: Horror/Short

Year: 2015

Rating: NR

A little girl home alone finds herself face-to-face with pure evil.

"The Smiling Man" is a tough film to talk about because spoiling the film here is not an option. The story is about a little girl who is alone in the living room watching cartoons on the television. Her attention is taken away by a number of balloons on a string. At the end of each string there are little bags of taken apart dolls. These balloons lead the little girl through the house. The little girl and the audience as well get a few glimpses of what we believe to The Smiling Man.

I am stopping there because I do not want to ruin the film for those that are waiting to see it. A few minutes into this seven minute Short I realized that there was no dialogue and then I thought why should there be. The empty house and the absolutely frightening music that creeps the shit out of you is more than enough to drive the film forward. This is one of the creepiest and most disturbing films I have seen in some time Short film or Feature film.

"The Smiling Man" will send chills down your spine and it will make the hair on your neck stand up. It will also stick around in your head long after it is over. The next time you are home alone you will be scared to death. The film has a cast of three, Abbi Chally is terrific as the little girl. The innocence and curiosity on her face which later turns to pure terror is priceless. Strange Dave is scary as hell as The Smiling Man and last but not least we have Mellisa Chally who plays the mom.

"The Smiling Man" manages to be frightening without any cheap thrills. Instead it uses atmosphere and hints of what is to come to create all its scares and nightmares later. This is the second film written and directed by VFX Artist / Previsualization Supervisor A.J. Briones (AVATAR, DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, TOMORROWLAND). The film was written by A.J. Briones , story by A.J. Briones and Tefft Smith II. I cannot close this review without mentioning Vivien Villani who provided the brilliant music and Director of Photography, David Hokechek. Both really help in bringing this living nightmare to life.

I highly recommend checking out this brilliant Horror Short as soon as possible. You can follow the film's progress by visiting its Facebook page HERE.

***** Out Of *****

The Smiling Man - Trailer from A.J. Briones on Vimeo.