A.J. Briones’ Short Horror Film The Smiling Man Is Terrifying On So Many Levels

May 20, 2016

Written by Kelli Marchman McNeely

Kelli Marchman McNeely is the owner of HorrorFuel.com. She is an Executive Producer of "13 Slays Till Christmas" which is out on Digital and DVD and now streaming on Tubi. She has several other films in the works. Kelli is an animal lover and a true horror addict since the age of 9 when she saw Friday the 13th. Email: horrorfuelinfo@gmail.com


Fresh off its film festival tour comes The Smiling Man, a frightening new award-winning short film written and directed by visual effects artist A.J. Briones. Briones is most recognized for his work on films such as Avatar, Star Wars: Episode VII and Iron Man 2.


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THE SMILING MAN for me was an exercise in tension building and whether we could use that to great effect to scare the crap out of audiences.”  Blumhouse has quoted Briones as saying. “I wanted to tell a story purely with visuals, so I wrote it without any dialogue. I like to work in allegory with all my films, and THE SMILING MAN is about a woman’s introduction into the world of men, and how unfair and downright predatory it can be. It’s not meant to be overt, but those ideas are visually coded into the film. That said, it’s been really neat speaking to people at festivals who came away from watching it with their own meaning. It’s a vertical slice of a feature film that I hope to get the chance to work on someday! While we are releasing the film out in the wild, we are still screening in a few upcoming festivals, namely Crypticon Seattle, International Horror Hotel, Calgary Horror Con and more. If you can make it out, I highly recommend it, as THE SMILING MAN was meant to be enjoyed on the big screen with a large audience.


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The film stars Abbi Chally, Melissa Chally, Strange Dave and Richard Dorton as the voice of The Smiling Man. Nathan Hopkins and Tefft Smith produced with Briones serving as executive producer.



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