SXSW is just a week away, the line up is set, and the sneak peeks are rolling in quickly. The latest is for A.J. Briones’ bite-sized horror short, The Smiling Man. Briones already has an impressive roster of visual effects credits, most notably Star Wars: Episode VII- The Force Awakens and Avatar, so it’s no surprise that his short is well-shot and polished.
Serving as writer, director, and editor, Briones utilizes the brisk 7 minute 3 second run time to explore a twisted tale of boy meets girl by way of visual story telling. The setup is simple: a little girl home alone finds herself face-to-face with pure evil. Yet so much dread is mounted throughout in this allegory.
The Smiling Man has already reached 50 Film Festival selections, with 18 award wins, including Best Super Short Film at Shriekfest 2015. The short will be screening in the Midnight Shorts Competition, Friday March 11th during the 11:30PM-1:07AM with Briones in attendance (Additional screenings can be found here). Check out the creepy teaser below.