Smile Review

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Perhaps one of the most memorable trailers of recent times (purely because of the head swivel) it really stuck with me and I was pretty excited for Smile. This year has churned out some generic horrors, with most just being okay and not doing anything special, aside from Nope. But the most positive thing for me was hearing this film was actually scheduled to head straight to streaming, but due to high audience scores, the film was turned around and given a cinematic release, especially when Paramount have only recently launched their own subscription service, Paramount+.

Smile follows Rose Cotter (Sosie Bacon) a psychiatric doctor who meets a patient who kills herself after saying she is being followed by a creature, stalking her and smiling. It’s not long before Rose starts to lose her mind and experiences something similar, so she must have to confront her past.

The early reviews were extremely positive for the film and people were saying there were plenty of scares and it was, perhaps, the best horror film of the year. For me it didn’t quite live up to that hype. I wasn’t going in expecting another Nope or a Midsommar, but just a fun horror with some decent scares but it didn’t fully deliver on the potential for me. Yes, the film has a couple of good moments that are fun and land well, 1 or 2 solid scare moments and a little surprise which worked well for me, but aside from that it just feels like your run of the mill horror that we’ve seen countless of over the years.

The cast is okay, Sosie Bacon does a decent job in the lead role, I’ve only previously seen her in 13 Reasons Why and Scream: The TV Series, where she’s had much smaller roles. She’s evidently talented and trying to catch a big break, and I have no doubt that the success of this film will help her land a role in something else.

It was also a very surprise to have Kal Penn play another Doctor in the film, not someone I’ve seen in anything for a while.

Some of the dialogue is a bit wonky, but that’s nothing I wouldn’t expect from a writer who has only 2 previous pieces of work listed on his IMDb. Parker Finn isn’t a known name, but I have no doubt he will have a future. I can very much see a sequel coming from this film, perhaps likely straight to a streaming service this time, purely off the success of this film. What I do like however is the themes of the film about trauma and the impact that has on people and how people cope with it in different ways.

Overall, Smile is a decent time for horror fans looking to get in the spooky mood in October ahead of Halloween and a good one to watch with a big audience, something which horror films really benefit from. But it doesn’t do anything special or particularly unique to make it memorable. A couple of good moments, doesn’t take away from the potential this could’ve had to be truly creepy.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

What did you think of Smile?

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