Smile (2022)

Sosie Bacon, Jessie T. Usher, Kyle Gallner, Robin Weigert,
After witnessing a bizarre, traumatic incident involving a patient, Dr. Rose Cotter starts experiencing frightening occurrences that she can't explain. Rose must confront her troubling past in order to survive and escape her horri...
  • 6.7 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2022-11-03 Added:
  • Writer:
  • Parker Finn, Director:
  • Marty Bowen, Wyck Godfrey, Isaac Klausner, Robert Salerno, Producer:

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Trailer:

7 / 10

An Uneasy Study On Madness Passed On Through Trauma

It's hard to shake the uneasy feeling of this film. It's grim and foggy but at the core is the idea that when trauma is passed from person to person it will consume you. With that in hand, director Parker Finn plays on the idea that most people who suffer through awful events in life will have their past consume them if they don't confront them. Dr. Rose Cotter (Sosie Bacon) is a clinical psychologist who surrounds herself with the mentally broken people of New Jersey (add your own joke here). You can basically connect the dots as to how she became good at her job. One fateful day a girl comes into her office and gruesomely ends her own life. That launches Sosie's journey into her own madness. Slowly seeing things in her life. Or being haunted by voices of her past. Whatever it is knows her greatest pains. And exploits it. The mystery isn't completely satisfying to solve, but the constant moments of jerky jumpscares definitely make you feel on edge.

What I particularly like is the uneasy camera work. It isn't afraid to linger long within the frame. Nor add dutch angles. It plays like 70's cinema. The frames make you squirm. Though much of the scares are telegraphed. This isn't a slasher gory flick. It's really a psychological mind bender. As mentioned before, the resolution won't make you happy. But then, it really is watching someone work through their own mental illness. If that is interesting to you, this is the movie for you.

9 / 10

I can't stop smiling...

I can't stop smiling at the mastery of filmmaking on display in Smile. The directing is topnotch. All of the technical aspects are pristine, especially the sound design. The musical score greatly enhances the mood. Even something as simple as transition shots are stunning. It's visually elite.

I can't stop smiling at how ridiculously scary this movie is. I'm a 37-year-old man who has seen hundreds of horror flicks of all types. And yet this movie had me on edge from beginning to end. At points I was paranoid that someone was standing off to the side in the shadows of the theater. It continued afterwards, when I was startled by what turned out to be the shadow of the car behind me. And then again when the curbside lady brought my food out. I can't remember the last time a movie did this to me.

I can't stop smiling at stumbling upon what might be my favorite movie of the year. I went in, as usual, without watching any trailers or looking up reviews/ratings. I had no expectations and was fully blown away. I was either smiling or had my jaw dropped for most of the runtime.

I can't stop smiling at how impactful some of these scenes and moments are. I will never forget them. They are seared into my brain forever. Whoever came up with them, whoever designed them has to be some combination of genius and possibly disturbed. I love it. Maybe I'm disturbed too.

I jumped about 20 times. None of the jump scares are cheap. They are all creative and earned. The few that are predictable still startle. I sometimes laughed afterwards at how bad it got me.

I had a blast with Smile. It's not for the faint of heart or horror novices. For everyone else, for horror fans, for people who want high-quality cinema, this is the movie for you. (2 viewings, opening Friday UltraScreen 9/30/2022, UltraScreen 10/6/2022)

7 / 10

Very decent horror movie!

Very decent horror movie kinda dating back to the mid/late 2000s. If you enjoyed the Ring, Hereditary, It follows, you will very much love this.

If you're a horror movie fan you can probably see the ending coming BUT at least it's well executed.

Crazy camera angles, acting is good, definitely had me anxious watching threw my hands a few times (jump scares) it's also VERY analytical with huge PSTD, clinical diagnosis, mental characteristics in different characters

Some cons were the extended background information they would give which made the movie feel alittle more longer

There would most likely be a sequel or two but I doubt they'd be as good as this

Would I watch again? Probably not they heavy graphic suicide scenes (I get it that's part of the plot) BUT it's well worth a watch at least once.

8 / 10

I thought It Was Great Movie, I Hid Behind My Coat!

Smile

For lovers of the horror genre this was a treat from start to finish. Sosie Bacon who played Dr Rose Cotter, the shrink, was perfectly cast, never off the screen and the camera work was up close and personal. It really was a great acting performance in a horror role, nuanced, varied and very intense, we were certainly rooting for her!

The script was tight and everything was sacrificed for the narrative impetus, the mark of classic horror.

Without spoiling this movie there was a very similar plot in an original Star Trek episode, I will let the sci-fi wonks identify this similarity.

Overall it was a great night out and I couldn't guess the conclusion. I'm giving this a firm 8 outta 10, it really was very good!

8 / 10

Really great and...scary!

What an incredible year for horror!

The intro scene is conceptually perfect. Why? Because it immediately gives us all that we need to get into the context of the film, not only in terms of the most classic horror elements but also in terms of its main themes. All this before its title card. But how? Introducing us immediately to our main character, Dr Rose Cotter, who works in a psychiatric hospital and who receives a visit from a new patient who in ten minutes shows strange behaviour, claims to be being followed by an evil entity, smiles scarily and commits suicide. And now that curse seems to have passed on to our Dr., who is impeccably played by Sosie Bacon, in one of those roles where she often has to balance herself on the boundary that separates what everyone sees and what only she can see.

Trauma. It will always be traumatic to witness an event as dramatic and violent as a suicide. And it is from trauma that this entity feeds. And how well this theme is used... after all, many of us have gone through traumas and traumas are just kept in a hidden corner within us, always ready to be reactivated. Grief and guilt are often associated with traumatic events, and Smile does not deny that connection. Nor does it refuse to make connections with psychological and mental problems that can arise from it and how when this happens, the victim becomes even more placed on the sidelines, more isolated, more alone in a world from which one does not intend to move away but from which finds no other alternative.

But of course, this is a horror movie and it's not only about the message that a film of the genre should live. Good news: even if you don't care about meaning, Smile is pretty good and effective entertainment. The suspenseful scenes are very well constructed, the environment feels heavy for long moments and it presents us with several jump scares that work perfectly, being this one of the scariest films of recent years.

The film suffers from a certain predictability typical of the genre - I saw that ending coming from miles away - and, at times, it seems to rely a little too much on the power of suggestion and the effectiveness of its scares, although there are reasons for that because those are two areas where it stands out. The visual effects - mostly practical - are not present for long moments, but when they appear they elevate the work, with some really terrifying images. And as for Parker Finn...what a great movie debut, not only because of the way he leaves us on edge thanks to a very safe direction but also for presenting some elements that we don't often see in horror in terms of the originality of shots and scene transitions.

2022 doesn't stop giving us good horror. Smile bets on a heavy atmosphere, strong messages and very effective scares to give us one of the tensest films of the year. A little bit The Ring, a little bit It Follows, but also a very own identity that should ensure this will not stop here.