Smiley Face Killers, 2020 – ★★½

Like The House That Jack Built, in Smiley Face Killers we’re seeing filmmakers attempting to confront the banal indifference of serial killing, and like The House, this one falls short, but in very different ways. The idea of killers making their murders look like drownings is intriguing, and the beginning of the film where we see multiple abductions is the most interesting part. Unfortunately, when the film concentrates on a single victim, it gets bogged down by the bland minutiae around the abduction, and thus loses interest and focus. Also, how on earth would this murder look like a drowning if he’s dead before he hits the water? Crispin Glover’s mute role is creepy, but rather pointless, and I’m sorry, but ritualistic killings are far less frightening than the randomness of serial killers. It does have a great new wave synth score, though…so that’s a plus.

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