Watch the 6-Minute Short Film “The Smiling Man”- Horror Feature from SXSW is Creepy!

Don’t go down the stairs, little girl!

Why is this 5 or 6 year old little girl in a dark house alone?! “The Smiling Man” is a short film created by director A.J. Briones (Avatar, Iron Man 2, Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens) which debuted at this year’s SXSW 2016. The creepy 6-minute feature has all the makings of a full-length film and would likely scare the crap out of moviegoers with its twisted and mind-screwing imagery.

Some of the beauty of “The Smiling Man” comes from its simplicity. A little girl innocently watching cartoons in her room. A shadow passes in the hallway. A curious and naive child finds a path of balloons which lead her to something disturbing and somewhat terrifying.

A visual effects specialist, Briones has received a number of awards for this short film. He is also taking his story on the road and making guest appearances and screenings throughout the year.


SM banner


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Best Post Production (Connect Film Festival)

Best of the Fest (Idaho Horror Film Festival)

Best Super Short Film (Shriekfest)

Best Editing (Diabolique International Film Festival)

Best “Monster Show” Short Film (Horrible Imaginings Film Festival)

Best Horror/Sci-Fi Short Film (The Underground Film Festival)

Best Make-up (HollyShorts)

Best Original Score (Asians on Film Festival)


Look what many in the press are saying about Briones’ “The Smiling Man“:

“The Smiling Man is an exercise in lean yet undeniably terrifying horror, packing a punch around every turn.”

“The Smiling Man” teaser feels creepy as hell!’
Horror Film Central


A little girl home alone finds herself face-to-face with pure evil.


To learn more about “The Smiling Man,” visit the official website.

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Jason Bennett is PopCultHQ's chief editor, a contributing writer, and comic book reviewer/reporter. One with the Force. Browncoats Unite! So say we all! Follow Jason on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: @TahoeJBennett