‘Once you see it, it’s too late’
Smile is a 2022 American supernatural horror film about an entity that smiles creepily before its victims die brutally.
Written and directed by Parker Finn based on his short: Laura Hasn’t Slept (watch below in 4K).
The Paramount Players-Temple Hill Entertainment production stars Sosie Bacon (Charlie Says; Off Season 2017; Scream: The TV Series), Jesse T Usher (The Boys series), Kal Penn, Rob Morgan (Stranger Things series), Kyle Gallner (Scream 2022), and Caitlin Stasey (All Cheerleaders Die).
On September 22, 2023, Paramount Pictures officially announced that Smile 2 is going into pre-production for a release on October 18, 2024.
After witnessing a bizarre, traumatic incident involving a patient, Doctor Rose Cotter (Sosie Bacon) starts experiencing frightening occurrences that she can’t explain. As an overwhelming terror begins taking over her life, Rose must confront her troubling past in order to survive and escape her horrifying new reality… [for the full plot, with spoilers, scroll to the end]
In the US, Smile was released theatrically by Paramount Pictures on September 30, 2022. It is available to rent or buy via Amazon Prime
In the US, Smile will be available on Blu-ray + Digital, 4K Ultra-HD and DVD on December 13, 2022.
“Smile doesn’t quite have the perpetual sense of underlying dread that The Ring, which it resembles in a couple respects, had, and a dream sequence about two-thirds of the way through goes a bit too broad. Otherwise, this is a pleasingly creepy horror flick that opens the obligatory door for a sequel, yet does it in a manner that isn’t cheap.” 3 out of 4, The Aisle Seat
“Smile gets by on its effective, terrifying jump scares and Bacon’s dialed-in performance. Finn shows that he has visional promise in the horror genre, but here’s hoping his next project is a little more pruned, devoid of getting in his way of the set-up and allowing the scares and actors to truly take center stage.” C+, Awards Watch
“Bacon deftly maintains our attention even in the lulls between unsettling scare moments. There’s a familiarity to the curse’s nature and formula, drawing easy comparisons to several beloved horror films. Even still, it’s well crafted and introduces a fresh feeling mythology, with some genuine scares along the way.” 3/5, Bloody Disgusting
Finn can’t quite work up excitement for the detective elements of the script, and he doesn’t know how to rein in Bacon, who merely hyperventilates in the part […] Smile has its hook, but it doesn’t do enough with the innate terror of such a scourge, playing a crude game of shock and volume instead, which isn’t enough to support a lengthy journey into madness.” 2 out of 5, Blu-ray.com
” …in the last act the film hits a stride that actually ends it on a substantial note. That is due in large part to the creature design and the clear inspiration from films like It Follows. The pacing and slight chaos help create dread in a way we don’t experience throughout much of the film. Add in finally getting to see exactly what is making people smile, and well, I can’t complain.” 6.5/10, But Why Tho?
“Smile is far from the great high-concept horror movie that I hoped it would be. But Parker Finn’s feature-length directorial debut remains a reasonably unsettling experience about trauma and mental condition that is best seen on the big screen.” 3/5, Casey’s Movie Mania
“There are a fair few “boo!” jump scares, which to me usually just feel lazy, but here amongst the rest of the story, following Rose’s journey and her descent towards madness, I was totally on board with it all. The ending is predictable, it borrows from countless other horror movies and you could quite easily imagine a sequel coming from it. But overall I really enjoyed how this was presented.” 4/5, Cine Chat
” …Smile is a solid horror film with plenty of horror elements and layers that complement each other. The story is also easy to follow and the uncomplicated premise allows viewers to be easily engaged and sucked into Rose’s life only to scare us with jumpscares and gore when we least expect it.” 7.5/10, Geek Culture
“Smile stands alone with momentum moving towards sheer uneasiness for the viewers. It’s going to do tremendous in theaters. While the overall aesthetic may seen similar to other features Smile carries its own weight. Loaded with terror and disdain and a really captivating performance from Bacon Smile is brilliant.” 4/5, Horror Movies Uncut
“Smile nicely builds its atmosphere of paranoid dread, while treating its themes of trauma and recovery (or the lack thereof) in a respectful dramatic fashion. That is why the uninspired conclusion is a real let-down (but truly satisfying horror movie endings are hard to come by). Recommended overall for genre fans…” J.B. Spins
“Smile does an admirable job of constantly ratcheting up the tension, making the viewer ever-conscious of what surrounds Rose. She is our sole window into the terror, so we are always in observation of her story as it unfolds. Where you expect the film to zig, it often zags. Shocking jump scares are effectively jarring, especially one that involves replaying a sound wave over and over again.” 4/5, Josh at the Movies
“Despite its somewhat formulaic plotting, Smile still stands as an excellent showcase for filmmaker Finn, who shows promise in the horror landscape, particularly his knack for creating gnarly visuals and ratcheting up an uneasy feeling of dread […] Smile should be enough to make any genre fan’s day a little happier.” 3.5/5, Mr Movie’s Film Blog
“It does introduce Finn as a capable horror helmer, one with a talent for an elegantly crafted jump scare and a knack for making a viewer feel uneasy and upset as they exit the theater—both advantages for a film like this one. But fans excited to see an “original” horror film hitting theaters should temper those expectations.” RogerEbert.com
” …if the basics of Smile are standard, Finn has filled in the details in intriguing and scary ways. The nature of the haunting he has created allows him to investigate trauma and its effects in ways that go beyond the typical supernatural chiller, and increase the psychological stakes for its heroine. He also demonstrates a knack for stylishly suggestive images…” Rue Morgue
“The smiling face takes the place of the stereotypical masked killer, offering the antagonistic figure an ever-changing appearance that gives the impression that it could appear anywhere at any time […] Smile is at its best when operating a “less is more” approach, allowing the dark spaces to encompass the audience in fear. Predictable plot beats and an uneven tone muddle a concept that could have been much more terrifying.” 2.5/5, Showbiz Cheat Sheet
“The horror genre is thoroughly rotten with films that use allegorical tools to explore how people attempt to exorcise their personal demons, but Smile brings audiences that catharsis in a most unexpected of forms. This is, after all, a mainstream studio effort about a being whose crocodile smile reflects back at us the gaping emotional wounds we hide behind our own painted-on grins.” 3/4, Slant
” …in many ways, while you have to respect what Bacon and Finn do when it comes to giving Smile some weight, if you are a horror fan who just wants to get scared from the safety of the theater, you get what you came for. But you also get a lot you didn’t ask for and, after a certain amount of time, may not want.” Wherever I Look
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