Before the opening titles roll, practically every aspect of the horror picture “Smile” has been established: its excellent creep factor, its well-executed albeit typical shock methods, and its intertwined subject of trauma and suicide. Dr. Rose Cotter (Sosie Bacon), a hardworking and dedicated therapist, is having a conversation with a lady who sounds as though her soul has been to hell and back in an emergency psych unit. Laura (Caitlin Stasey) discusses the visions she has been having that no one else can see in tones that appear sensible despite her trembling terror.
The synopsis for Smile goes something like this. Dr. Rose Cotter begins to experience terrifying incidents that she is unable to explain after having witnessed a peculiar and terrible event involving a patient. In order for Rose to live and find a way out of her horrible new world, she has no choice but to confront her troubled past.
Here we follow therapist Rose Cotter (Sosie Bacon), who is horrified to watch her new patient Laura (Caitlin Stasey) commit suicide during therapy because she claims to be seeing a supernatural being. After this, Rose begins to have paranormal experiences of her own, and comes to the terrifying conclusion that she is under a curse, which is a bitter pill for her loved ones to swallow.
The premise of Smile works well as a horror film. In his first feature film, director Parker Finn manages to shock his audience in unexpected ways. They are genuinely shocking, rather than merely eliciting a startle response due to an unexpectedly loud noise in the background. There are also some creepily spooky parts. One scene from a birthday celebration gave me the creeps. (Matthew Lamb, the young actor, does an excellent job selling the scene.) In addition, Finn has staffed the picture with actors who can creepily grin on cue. No words can adequately express how crucial that is. If it weren’t for the talented actors, the notion would be laughable.
The film stands out, however, for its efforts beyond simple scare tactics. Smartly navigating both mental health and trauma, Smile succeeds on all fronts. Many of the characters make casually offensive remarks about Rose’s patients, calling them names like “headcases” and “crazies.” As soon as those closest to her suspect that she is experiencing problems, they react differently. That is illustrative of the stigmatization of the mentally sick in contemporary culture. Meanwhile, the thing draws energy from the suffering of those it attacks. The narrative alludes to the inward struggle that tragedy may bring about. When you’ve been through something very upsetting, the effects might linger and lead to other issues like anxiety and depression. While trauma has been employed in other horror films, this one takes it to a new, more profound level.
The performances in Smile are generally solid across the group, but standout is Bacon as she quivers and shakes her way through hell on the verge of complete insanity in what must have been a grueling job to portray over such a long period of time.
Although there are a few points where the picture drags, it seldom loses its savage grasp on you. Even while the tale seems straightforward at first, it gradually becomes more intricate with each passing scene. Finn is excited to have you join him on this crazy adventure.
Smile delves on the human tendency to mask our actual selves from the world in the face of suffering. If you want to see a terrifying movie, it should be Smile. It’s guaranteed to give you the creeps and make you feel frightened.
Smile is easily one of the most unexpected movies of the year. One of the most intelligent, violent, and unsettling films of the year, its trailers make it look like a mindless popcorn flick. Get to a movie theatre immediately and watch this. You should do that; it will be a good decision. Check out IMDB for more details.
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