Watch or Skip? “Smile” Movie Review

By Sofia Coe & Daniella Castillo

Smile is a movie that has been trending on social media platforms such as TikTok and Instagram. It was released on September 30, 2022 (USA). Parker Finn, the director of Smile, who has directed other films such as Laura Hasn’t Slept (2020) and The Hidebehind (2018), uses smiles, which usually represent friendliness and invitation, to “represent evil” and “as a promise of threat”. Would this movie live up to our expectations and be able to scare us?

We had many preconceptions as we watched the movie in a theater. We thought the storyline was not very interesting and wouldn’t be scary. On the contrary; the movie’s storyline was interesting, building up suspense and had us wondering what would happen next. We enjoyed the jump scares. They made us jump and left us really shocked. They came out of nowhere, which helped make them scarier. 

The movie begins with Rose Cotter, a psychiatrist working at a psychiatric ward. When she arrives at work, she meets with a new patient called Laura Weaver, who is clearly distressed. The patient kept trying to explain what she was seeing and feeling, and Dr. Cotter thought that she was hallucinating and tried to talk to her. Suddenly, Laura commits suicide right in front of Dr. Cotter with a horrifying smile on her face. Little did she know that witnessing Laura’s death meant that the curse was passed on to her. Day after day, she gets more hallucinations of people smiling at her creepily and feels like she is going crazy. Unexpected things start happening to her, until in the end she finally breaks. 

Rose’s friend, Joel, is our favorite character in the movie. We liked him a lot because he was always there for her even though everything she said or did seemed crazy. Unlike her husband Trevor, he always made sure that she was okay and risked many things for her. Trevor was our least favorite character because as soon as his wife Rose started acting strangely, his attitude changed toward her. Rose tried to explain what she was feeling, but her husband wouldn’t listen and thought she was insane. Even though Joel did not deserve the ending, we hope in the next movie he is able to save himself and break the curse. 

This movie utilizes formal techniques like lighting which turns into a dark, blood-curdling scene which mad us look away. The cinematography in this movie is something out of this world, using silhouettes, shadows, and shooting through objects that give us the feeling of being watched.

Overall, this movie deserves the recognition that it was getting. It met our expectations and when we left the movie theater we were still scared. Although this movie is not in theaters right now in Nicaragua, we recommend it 4/5 if you want to watch a scary movie with an exciting storyline. 

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