It’s like a bad combination of Slender Man and The Bye Bye Man. While it has its moments (Roger Bart is way too talented to be here), Smiley can’t stop itself from being a cringefest for anyone who used the internet in 2012.
The film tells of an urban legend involving a killer named Smiley. When you type “I did it for the lulz” into a chat three times, a spooky guy appears and stabs the person on the other side of the chat. The characters are mostly edgy nerds that talk about 4chan like it’s some badass philosophical hacker club. There are awful editing mistakes like YouTube videos that noticeably change from 14 seconds to 0 seconds, or extras wearing the same clothes in completely different pickup shots. You’re actually better off browsing /b/ than watching this movie.
Stay Alive (2006)
Stay Alive feels like a low budget film, but was made for $20 million dollars – which, for context, is 4 times the budget of Get Out.
It’s the pinnacle of making a movie that is stuck in its era. The plot revolves around a game called “Stay Alive” that kills you in real life if you don’t stay alive. The video game portions are eternally stuck in the PS2 generation, and the CGI is too. Characters dress in trendy counterculture clothes and use plenty of slang to make sure the film is irrelevant as soon as possible. It feels like it was conceived and created by studio suits in their 60s whose grandkids played their game boxes and used the Google, but it wasn’t. This is by far the best on the list if you were a young person in the early 2000s.
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