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Arts and Entertainment

Video: New Horror Short 'The Smiling Man' Is Super Creepy

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A horror short about a young girl and a monster in her house creeped everyone out on the festival circuit, and is now available for you to watch. If you're looking for something to send a shiver down your spine, might we suggest The Smiling Man?

The 7-minute horror short comes from A.J. Briones, an L.A.-based visual FX artist who has worked Avatar and The Force Awakens. The Smiling Man begins as so many horror films do: a young girl watches TV in the dark, alone. Slowly, she is lured through her own dimly lit house into a horrifying scene. There's one shot filmed from above that is particularly creepy. (It goes without saying, but some viewers may find this short disturbing.)

Briones says the film is about more than a fictional monster, telling Blumhouse:

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I like to work in allegory with all of my films, and THE SMILING MAN is about a woman’s introduction into the world of men, and how unfair and downright predatory that can be. It’s not meant to be overt, but those ideas are visually coded into the film.

The film has won a few awards, including Best Short Film at Shriek Fest and Best Director at Midnight Horror Shorts Fest, and Briones says he hopes to make the short into a feature. It's not out of the question: the particularly unsettling Lights Out from filmmaker David F. Sandberg has been transformed into a feature and is slated to come out July 22, 2016.

The Smiling Man as a monster name may be familiar to you if you're a fan of Creepy Pastas, which are short pieces of horror fiction passed around the Internet, often via /r/reddit. Remember Slender Man?

The Smiling Man story is a first-person tale about a person who frequently takes late-night walks alone. One night, the author encounters a tall, thin man with an impossibly wide grin ambling towards him in a contorted manner that is half-dance, half-walking.

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