Euronews Culture continues its Halloween countdown by treating readers brave enough to a horror short film every day.
Our fourth short of the week is 2AM: The Smiling Man, by Michael Evans.
Let’s put a smile on that face
There’s something deeply unnerving about a smile: prolonged for too long and one of the most beautiful things a person can share can turn unnervingly creepy in a matter of seconds.
Director Michael Evans understands the anxiety-drenched potential of an inexplicably fixed rictus grin: his 4-minute film follows a young man being stalked by a smiling, dancing figure on his walk home.
Inspired by a CreepyPasta, this 2013 short trusts the potential of its barebones idea without weaving in any unnecessary plot. Nothing is ever explained: why the creepy man is so cheery, what he wants from the unnamed pedestrian or why he's dancing in that oddly sinister way.
Kudos to actor Paul Foltz and his disjointed movements for making the Smiling Man dangerously mischievous at every turn.
As always, a lack of answers and a general sense of randomness makes everything even more chilling.
Make no mistake: there’s every chance 2AM: The Smiling Man will have you reconsidering all the merits of a late-night stroll. And introduce you to your new sleep paralysis demon.
Enjoy, be safe on your walks, and make sure to check out our ongoing daily selection of articles undercoveringthe mythical creatures of Europe, our second countdown to Halloween series which includes all you need to know about Baba Yaga, Trolls and The Golem.