Don’t Forget to “Smile”… Or Maybe Do Forget


Sosie Bacon plays protagonist Rose Cotter in “Smile”

Zoie Baker, Student Reporter

“Smile” – a movie review. 

Why do we watch scary movies? It can be argued that the point of a scary movie is to frighten, shock, and horrify people by using unsettling noises, gory details, and disturbing visuals.

The new Paramount wide-screen release “Smile” came out September 30th of 2022. This film is about a young woman named Rose Cotter played, by Sosie Bacon, who witnesses a traumatic event involving her patient and begins to experience things she cannot explain. As an overwhelming fear takes over her life, she must confront her past to deal with her unsettling present.

The core concept of this horror film deals with taking a smile and morphing it into something that looks like a threat, demonic, or scary even makes you feel more afraid to look at it. Thus, it makes the movie harder to watch and almost unpredictable.

During the film, the directors did an excellent job at maintaining originality with the unexpected scares. A disturbingly delightful scene occurs when Roses begins to experience her traumas and attends her nephew’s birthday party. It is here that she gives him his wrapped present, which contains her cat’s body inside of it as an unexpected surprise.

While the film had plenty of good, original scenes, they are dispersed throughout the movie. The beginning of the movie seems to drag out and very few “pop scares” happen, which caused me to feel bored. After about 20 minutes into the movie, it began to have a few unexpected scares. Most were very visual, however, it was not easy to determine whether something was going to happen or not in the scene.

For example; After her nephews’ surprise at his birthday party, Rose goes over to her sisters to try to explain what is going on to the character Holly, played by Gillian Zinser, without sounding like she is going as crazy as everybody think she is. In the mix of the argument, Holly dismisses Rose and tells her that she cannot be around Holly’s son Jackson when Rose is acting like their mom before she killed herself. After hearing this, Rose begins to throw hateful comments in Holly’s face before Holly dismisses her again. Rose eventually goes back to her car where she begins to try to wrap her head around what just happened. On the screen you can see her sister Holly beginning to walk to her vehicle in an angry manner. Then, after she then taps on the glass, her neck does a 180. This scares Rose and she screams in her car for a second before driving off.

This scene to me was a particularly good one because that is not something I have seen in a scary movie before, and it was unexpected.

While some scenes were not easy to determine if something scary was going to happen, others were confusing and made me unnecessarily nauseous. In some scenes, transitioning from one plot point to another, the screen starts upside down, slowly turning right-side up, causing a feeling of nausea. As the reason for the upside down transition seems to match nothing it the plot, it almost seems like a time waster in the movie to help drag it out. The turning makes it feel as if something is about to jump out and scare the audience, but as nothing happens, it starts to feel upsetting instead of disturbing. However, it’s possible the screen simply moves slow to make the audience anticipate what might or might not happen.

In the end I felt as though this was more of a suspenseful movie than a horror film. While I’m sure plenty of people have different opinions and views about the movie, all, and all I would give it a 5 out of 10. I rate this movie this way because, even with its original ideas for scares, “Smile” was not anything new compared to the scary movies that have come out in the last few years. This was not a bad movie by any means, however, as a person who loves movies, especially scare ones, I would recommend it but maybe wait until in comes out on dvd or blu-ray or a streaming service.