Smile 2022; Movie Review


“Smile”, written and directed by Parker Finn, was a film that came to theaters September 30th, 2022. Through the period this horror film was out, 3,645 theaters were able to obtain a domestic box office of $22 million dollars. Finn in a video interview has said he’s always been fascinated by sinister smiles, but it was not so much because of how chilling they look.


“We walk around with traumas, and to not let anyone in, we will wear a smile as a mask,” Finn said. “I wanted the smile to be a mask to hide evil’s true intentions.”(New York Times) The film’s storyline follows many of your typical stereotypes of a supernatural horror-mystery. Some of “Smile’s” horror elements are bloody and disturbing to match the dark themes. This film isn’t probably the best option for viewers who have weak stomachs and can’t bear to watch disturbing content, but that’s a horror film for you.


Our main character Dr. Rose Cotter witnesses the beginning of this haunting with Laura Weaver, a PhD student who’s been brought to the psychiatric emergency ward where Rose works, shaking and terrified that something is out to get her. “It looks like people, but it’s not a person,” Laura explains. The curse follows with a suicide, a eery grin lays upon their face before they commit a gruesome suicide like Laura, who slit her throat in front of Dr. Cotter. Now that our main character has seen the truth, what can she do now? Dr. Cotter already has the overwhelming trauma of her sister committing suicide on top of many more from this curse that haunts people with a grin.


Audiences say to keep a close eye in order to keep up with the story, but slow-burn horror film lovers leave the theater with a grin. Critics say that the film has deeply creepy visuals, loving the exploration of trauma. Rotten Tomato rates this film with a 78% Tomatometer and a 78% audience score. Micheal Compton, Bowling Green Daily News critiques, “It’s a bit of a slow burn, but one that rewards the audience’s patience with a pretty compelling playoff.”(Rotten Tomatos Reviews)