2AM: The Smiling Man (2013)

Review by CJ


Michael Evans

Sean Simon, Paul Foltz

Running time:
4 minutes


A young man taking a walk at 2am encounters another man. A man with an eerie smile. A man who doesn’t respond when spoken to.

2AM: The Smiling Man manages to do in four minutes what many horror films cannot achieve in 90 minutes — invoke heart-pounding terror.

In its simplicity 2AM: The Smiling Man is wonderful. The atmosphere is dark and gritty. The one line of dialogue packs a dramatic punch, breaking through the verbal silence at a peak moment. The eponymous Smiling Man’s costume is ridiculous but perfectly complements the character and, like a clown costume, it serves to immediately unsettle the viewer.

The use of sound in 2AM: The Smiling Man was one of the first things that caught my attention. What is happening visually is unsettling, but it is the perfectly timed crescendos and sudden audio outbursts that really make 2AM: The Smiling Man terrifying.

The acting in 2AM: The Smiling Man is good. Foltz’s portrayal of Smiling Man is fascinating to watch and creepy to boot. Simon’s reactions from the very start rely on non-verbal cues and are impressive.

If you love a good horror flick and have a few minutes to spare, I highly recommend checking out 2AM: The Smiling Man.

5 Stars

“What the hell do you want?!”


2 thoughts on “2AM: The Smiling Man (2013)”

  1. I saw this short about a year after it was produced and I was extremely impressed with how much was done in such a short amount of time. I got chills and was genuinely unsettled when I first saw it and it still gets to me 3 years later. Simon, as the roamer, says so much with his facial expressions. I felt his terror because he was so convincing, which, to me, says this guy can act. The stalker, with his crazy crane walk, was so over the top terrifying, I couldn’t stand it. And the music and sound just added to the terror. It was so on point with the mood of the short I felt like I was watching a full length feature film. It never, at any point, felt cheesy or amateur. Kudos to the guys that brought this scary little gem to life. It definitely left me wanting more!!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I found this film by chance on youtube a couple years ago and it scared the stuffing out of me…and as the other commenter said, it’s still scary on subsequent viewings ! I discovered that Michael Evans has several later short scary films up on youtube.. all excellent in every aspect. One is ‘Trivia Night’–frightening !

    Liked by 1 person

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