Smile – Movie Review
Director: Parker Finn
Writer: Parker Finn (Screenplay)
- Sosie Bacon (Traces)
- Jessie T Usher (Independence Day: Resurgence)
- Kyle Gallner (Scream)
- Caitlin Stasey (Tomorrow When the War Began)
- Kal Penn (Howard and Kumar)
Plot: 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 horrifying new reality.
Runtime: 1 Hour 55 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: Smile starts when trauma therapist Rose Cotter (Bacon) gets a new patient complaining about seeing terrifying imagines in her life. During their first interaction, the patient breaks character before leaving herself with a disturbing smile, before killing herself.
Rose left shocked and disturbed herself, starts seeing unexplained events around her. Not sure whether it is something connected to her childhood, or a demonic force following her. Rose turns to the people she trusts the most as it feels like her time is running out.
Verdict on Smile
Rose is an emergency trauma therapist who helps patients in need of urgent help. She had a traumatic childhood, which led her down this path but otherwise, she has everything together in her life. When Rose deals with her latest patient, she adopts her normal calm approach before things get out of hand. She witnesses a suicide and for some unknown reason to her, she starts seeing unexplained events around her life. This forces borders between friends, colleagues and loved ones. It does leave a few things up in the air about her character. The biggest being, why is someone from this profession so against opening up to someone?
Trevor is Rose’s fiancée, who for some reason doesn’t decide to make more time for her after the first incident happened. This is a trend throughout the whole movie, nobody seems to offer any emotional support after what Rose witnessed. Dr Desai tries to take her out of the firing line, but it feels like encouragement to see someone would help.
Joel is a detective investigating the death, which just so happens to be Rose’s ex. He becomes the person she turns to once she starts putting the pieces together. Joel seems to be a decent cop who is there to help where he can.
Sosie Bacon is the star of the show here, she shows the character slowly losing her mind. Showing the guilty she has carried her whole life and not knowing whom to turn to.
The rest of the supporting cast doesn’t get that much time to shine. With them all doing what they need to do well and letting Sosie shine.
The story follows a doctor who witnesses a patient kill themselves on front of her. Only to find herself going through the same events that had been described to her. This sends her on a journey to try and figure out what is going on while questioning her own mind.
The story is very interesting, I would best describe it as a blend of ‘The Ring’ ‘It Follows’ and ‘Truth or Dare.’ Where it has the very distinct concept of being followed against the clock, but it wants to go a bit crazy with the theory behind it. The biggest flaw in the story comes from the decision-making, as it is weird that a professional doctor wouldn’t turn to help when it is what she would tell her patients.
Smile is a disturbing horror thriller that gives us some of the best jump scares you will see this year. It also balances the line between creepy and stupid with the smile reactions, which in the wrong hands would come off comical. This keeps them on the disturbing side. The big warning that isn’t described is how disturbing some of the suicides are. They are on a par with what we see in ‘Sinister’ for sudden impact moments.
Final Thoughts – Smile is a disturbing, terrifying horror that uses jump scares to shock us.