It’s a rare thing that you as a movie fan see an original horror film that completely blows your mind. Even though the horror resonance is going on right now. It’s still rare to find something completely original so mind-blowing you’re shocked when you are walking out of the theater. Smile is that film for me. It was one of the most incredible experiences I have had in a movie theater this year.
Dr. Rose Cotter (Sosie Bacon) is a well-respected doctor in a mental ward of a hospital. After working a lot of hours in a row she’s about to get some time off. Until an emergency situation gets her to come back. She gets a new patient, a woman who is a bit manic. She’s yelling and crying and trying to explain her circumstances of why she has been brought to this hospital. When things between her and the doctor get contentious inexplicably she slices her throat and dies on the spot. Unbeknownst to the doctor, this passed on a curse to her that would forever change her life.
The writer/director of this movie Parker Finn has created a horror story wholly original to me. She captured a state of existence in her main character rarely seen before or since. Putting the audience in the shoes of the main character isn’t anything new in films but the way she does it makes this movie one of the best of the year. Part of the plot is a decisive story and she goes down all of these rabbit hole and this help bring this film forward with each progression of knowledge or information she gets. Also, it deals with who she can trust.
Most horror films have jumpscares and this one is no different. There are jump scares on top of jump scares that are absolutely chilling. The scares are so great in this movie. Horror fans will love them and fans, in general, will literally be scared out of their seats. Part of the reason for the jump scares in the film being so effective is the camera angles. Some strange backward camera angles bring a sense of oddness to the movie. Along with those is the score. With crazy sounds working hand in hand with the jump scares and the odd camera angles. These are some of the reasons why this movie is so good.
The actors in the movie aren’t household names but it doesn’t mean they don’t do a great job bringing this wild crazy story to life. Bacon gives a fantastic performance as this woman who can’t get anyone to believe what she’s going through. It’s a typical type of character in these kinds of films. Along with her, I was impressed by Kyle Gallner, as a police detective who has a past with Bacon’s character. He is the only one who believes her. I haven’t seen much of him before but I liked what I saw in this movie. He is someone I’ll be looking forward to seeing what he’s doing next.
Smile is a horror film that plays on the emotions of the audience. It sucks the viewer in and never lets them go. The jumpscares are the best I’ve seen in any horror film all year and in recent memory. The main character played by Bacon is terrifically tragic in her journey throughout the movie. Bacon makes her so very sympathetic because we know what she’s going through throughout the film. The camera angles and score play right into everything that is going on and the writer/director Finn knows how to get every ounce of tension out of this material. This is one of the best films of the year and for sure the best horror all year long so far.
Dan Skip Allen