smile horror movie

Review: ‘Smile’ Is A Campy Horror Film Without Much Substance

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SMILE (2022)

While Smile brings the jump scares and the tension, an underdeveloped story and strange pacing kept me from completely buying in and enjoying the craziness on the screen.

When one of her patients takes her own life in front of her, Dr. Rose Cotter (Sosie Bacon) begins seeing things, becoming increasingly convinced an evil presence has a hold on her. Smile is complete horror camp, one of those films where the dialogue is corny and the you’re asked to simply accept the premise without much background. How did this all start? Why is it not a bigger story? Just accept it and more on. In terms of the scares, Smile delivers; writer/director Parker Finn expertly uses sound volume to bring you to the edge of your seat and, more often than not, leap out of it. The film can be both scary and gory at times, but nothing too excessive.

I guess I am just in a place where I want smarter horror. Sure, simplistic plots like this are great, but I want to dive deeper than just “here is the issue and let’s watch her try and fight through it.” A number of scenes felt monotonous and drawn out, bogging down the movie and giving me just enough time to start finding its faults. Bacon is impressive in her role, but the character becomes increasingly annoying as Smile roles on. It all results in a predictable, tiring attempt at exploring mental illness through a horror sense that never quite lands.

Smile is now playing in theaters.

Rating: 2/5

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