Smile from Fear to Fear

Smile is the latest horror hit in theatres, but will it leave you smiling as you leave?


Paramount Pictures

Actress Caitlin Stasey embodies the creepy grin of the title villain in Smile. Despite a basic sounding premise–a killer smile is on the loose–the film has ruled the box office and has positive reviews. Ultimately, it has some effective scares but is bogged down by a complicated and unsatisfying ending.

Joselyn Carrillo, Staff Writer

On September 30, writer and director Parker Finn released an American horror story titled Smile. While most horror movies have a frowning slasher or grimacing monster, Smile is exactly what the title implies.

The protagonist is stalked by an evil smile. While the premise sounds ridiculous, Smile has become a popular if flawed film with strong performances and a weak ending.

This story begins with the main character, Dr. Rose Cotter a therapist. She is struggling with trauma from when she was a kid. As a nine-year-old, she had walked into her mother’s room as her mother is overdosed on her bed to the point of dying.

Then this movie follows Rose as an adult in a mental institution or psychotic ward with a patient she had just encountered. This patient had been claimed to be stalked by an entity with a disturbing smile that only she can see. As Laura the patient is explaining what she sees, all of a sudden she starts to lose her mind and falls to the ground. A vase nearby breaks and shatters into millions of pieces, Laura grabs a sharp piece of the vase and kills herself in front of Dr. Rose with a very disturbing smile on her face. Cotter can’t explain why this patient had done this to herself, then starts to feel like she’s losing her mind and gets very paranoid and fearful.

As the story continues Cotter later goes on to kill her cat her only pet and without her knowing gifts it to her only nephew at his birthday party. Rose keeps seeing these disturbing smiles everywhere she goes to the point where she starts to investigate what type of curse this is. Later she finds out the same thing had happened a few years ago. The only way to get rid of this curse was to kill somebody else before this entity kills you.

Days go by and she feels her end coming soon, she goes back to the house she had grown up in and had lost her mother in. In this place, she tries to encounter this monster and tries to escape the curse. Although she’s not successful in breaking the curse a friend of hers tries to save her but is unsuccessful. Dr. Rose then goes on and burns herself alive in front of her friend with a huge smile on her face.

This horror film had many jumps scares and plot twists. As the movie climaxes this horror film will have you sitting at the edge of your chair. The character Sosie Bacon (as Dr. Rose) had done a great job starring in this film as she made it seem as if the movie had turned into reality.

The way the producers and cast promoted their movie Smile was very creative and unique.  Paramount had hired people to show up at random public places and smirk and smile the whole time. This would occur mostly at baseball games as people would stare and be frightened as this was no nice smile or smirk but rather a very creepy and frightening look.

This was a great marketing technique and has made thousands of people want to watch this movie. Every time a scene would change or even when a jump scare would occur the sound effects and instruments will make your adrenaline rise as it goes into the climax of the story or scene.

Smile had many great written lines but would also have lines that very cringed and did not fit the scene. Overall the film was a great film to watch. The quality and the way they made the movie was fantastic as all the scenes seemed to be unique and somewhat different from other American horror movies.

It is safe to say that this movie is recommended to watch in your free time with your friends and family members, although this film does not end the best way. It is now streaming in theaters and is rated R so you will need someone 18 years or older to watch with you.