The Smiling Man is my favorite kind of short film—there’s this quiet simplicity to it that allows its atmosphere to really sink its claws in. Add to that the complete lack of dialog and you have 7-minutes of unnerving horror. One thing that every great short film has in common is their ability to take a simple story and turn it into something special, which is exactly the case with director A.J. Briones’ little tale—a story that follows a little girl who comes face-to-face with pure evil.
Beyond the fact that his title monster is shit-your-pants terrifying, Briones’ ability to lead the viewers into his nightmare with a sense of mystery and wonder is perfection, creating a world that at first seems safe but is ultimately anything but. Someone needs to give this dude all the money in the world so he can make more of this.
It stars Abbi Chally, Strange Dave and Melissa Chally. Check it out below and find more short films like The Smiling Man by visiting the Short Round!