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Review of Smile: An Enjoyably Terrifying Horror Film

utter “cheese” A brand-new horror movie with an innovative marketing strategy has just hit theatres. The world has been anticipating Smile thanks to brief teaser trailers that show actors grinning maniacally at the camera during Major League Baseball games and the fact that this film switched from a streaming release to a theatre after successful test screenings. In this movie, Sosie Bacon plays psychiatrist Dr. Rose Cotter, who becomes haunted by an evil spirit after witnessing a horrific event involving one of her patients.


A distinct and expertly made horror film is Smile. It is a terrific way to end the month and another excellent contribution to the incredible run of original movies that began in September. This movie, which debuts in the same month as movies like Barbarian and Pearl, might be even better. When the trailer debuted, it was really hard to tell if this would be a fantastic horror movie or a complete trainwreck. Fortunately, it was the former because Smile will astound you with how masterfully crafted, intense, and downright terrifying it can be. Who could have predicted the horrifying contents of this feature?


I anticipated hating Smile going into it. For the first several minutes, I wasn’t entirely on board. A different character would have been a more deserving protagonist, and the film may have been another instance of Truth or Dare, a movie that employs wicked smiles as its opponent. At first, it seemed as though the opening sequence was not frightening enough. The movie immediately picks up the pace, though, and hooks you with its terrifying, gory images that wonderfully captures the frightful tone of the picture without being gratuitous. This idea could have easily veered into the realm of humour, but it actually works quite well.


Parker Finn makes his feature film directing debut with Smile, which he also wrote and directed. This is a fantastic debut picture by a talented horror director. His use of darkness and camera movements are brilliant and tasteful. The number of jump scares this film has may become one of the main discussion points among viewers. Although it provides a lot of jump scares, none of them are cheap, fake, or useless. This is not a horror film where characters grip the protagonist’s shoulder while making a piercing noise. The best praise I can give a movie that employs this cinematic technique is that the jump scares occasionally catch you off guard.


In some parts of Smile, you can almost feel the terror and dread the main character experiences. You could even occasionally catch yourself averting your gaze out of fear of what might be peeping through the darkness. The antagonist’s lack of being a creature with a flaw is what makes it the most terrifying. Taking you down a cursed path identical to what we witnessed in movies like The Ring and It Follows, the antagonist is invisible and inexorable. The movie does a fantastic job of creating a race against time, high stakes, and a great deal of terror because you never know what will happen.


This is even better because the enemy doesn’t just frighten Rose. Instead, Rose’s life is ruined by the antagonist, who exploits her pain and turns it against her. The villains in the best horror films, like Candyman, Orphan, and The Invisible Man, isolate the protagonist and make their life miserable. While exploring issues of trauma and letting go of it, this film does an excellent job of that. The movie’s closing act, which almost undermines what made it scary in the first place but ultimately recovers, is its lone flaw. Smile is a terrifying movie that goes above and beyond any expectations. It deals with survivor’s remorse. By the movie’s conclusion, I noticed something I’d never done before: my palms were perspiring.


SCORE: 8/10
According to ComingSoon’s review guidelines, a score of 8 equals “Great.” This score indicates that the artwork accomplishes its objective and makes a lasting impression, despite a few small flaws.

Chase McAllister

Chase McAllister is a Journalist at Flaunt Weekly.

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