Coming from director Tim Hunter, writer Bret Easton Ellis and Lionsgate comes the tale of fear and the insanity of SMILEY FACE KILLERS.
Jake Graham (Ronen Rubenstein) is a young man in school, an athlete with good friends and girlfriend Keren (Mia Serafino). He does have issues with his mental health that have been maintained by medication. However, lately, Jake has been avoiding medication and therapy which has upset Keren.
Jake begins to notice odd things happening around him. First, a map appears in his room that makes no sense to him, followed by text message that are disturbing. He believes that someone is trying to make him feel disjointed, but Keren assures him it is because he has gone off his medication.
He also begins to suspect Keren’s old boyfriend of being the one behind all of this. That is until after leaving a party and an altercation, the van he saw earlier in the day is back. Within moments he is swept up and what happens next is horrific.
Rubinstein as Jake is a young man trying to convince everyone that something is terribly wrong. Instead of believing him, his girlfriend and friends all want to blame medication. Frustrated, he stops telling them what he is finding but instead lets it all get into his head. Arguably there are a few scenes where I would have done things differently but then again, I am not Jake!
Serafino as Keren continually blames everything on Jake’s medication or lack of instead of hearing him. Even till the end she does not realize that everything told to her was not only the truth, but dangerous.
Using his killer moves in the most silent of ways is Crispin Glover as the Hooded Figure. He never has to say a word and that makes him eviler than if he monologues his intentions. He has played evil before and makes his character even more evil if that is possible.
Other cast include Amadeus Serafini as Gabriel, Ashley Rickards as Alana, Garrett Coffey as Adam, Cody Simpson as Rob, Daniel Covin as Devon, Gianna DiDonato as Live, Daniel Dannas as Ryan, Corey Prather as Paul and Reese Mishler as Brandon.
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There are a few things that could have been done differently but as a whole the events are quite harsh which makes those ‘things’ forgiving. The cast is kept to Jake’s closest circle which allows the viewer to watch his progression of questioning.
During the time of 1990’s to around 2010, there were many young men that were drown and law enforcement believe they did not drown by accident but instead we killed by serial killers. New York detective Kevin Gannon wrote a casebook about it entitles Cast Studies in Drowning Forensics. There was also a docuseries in 2019 called Smiley Face Killers: The Hunt for Justice.
In the end – the water wants you!