“2AM”, a short film directed by Michael Evans from Go for Broke Pictures, is an adaptation of The Smiling Man story, one of the internet’s new urban legends. The story was originally written by reddit user blue_tidal in response to the question: “What is the scariest/creepiest thing you have seen/heard?” In the story, blue_tidal recounted one particular late night when he restlessly wandered the streets of Seattle and encountered a tall and lanky man with an unnerving cartoonish smile and eyes wide open. The story has since gone viral, with countless other similar sightings reported.
He had an intensity to his eyes, and he never once made eye contact with me (though he was clearly watching me very closely with his peripheral vision).
As a collective, there are few things more frightening than that which walk among us, but are not us. These are the things that are near human, but with a switch turned off that keeps them buried deep in the uncanny valley. That is part of why The Smiling Man legend resonates so profoundly within our collective fear. The Smiling Man is part sociopath, part stalker. He has but one expression: a mirthless smile mixed with madness. There is something broken or absent inside of him that makes him not human. The story is oft repeated enough that it has earned an entry into our cultural conscious as an urban legend– believable enough for it to have happened to a friend of a friend, but too unlikely to ever witness first hand.
Director: Michael Evans
Original Story: blue_tidal
Starring: Sean Simon and Paul Foltz