Halloween Horror: Smile Movie Review

Mickel Bailey, Student Life Reporter

It’s the month of October, where the weather changes from a hot summer to a cold, crisp fall; people will throw on their jackets and get down with Autumn’s greatest activities, such as going to pumpkin patches to snatch a pumpkin to carve, or go out for a picnic with the family, or maybe just go see a newly released horror movie.

Released right before the spooky month of October on September 30, Smile came to the big screen with not only a heavy punch of horror, but heavy themes of trauma as well.

Starring Rose Bacon as the main character, Dr. Rose Cotter, the movie follows her as she is haunted by some malevolent entity that is only recognizable by, yes, a smile. As of now, Smile sits with a solid 78 percent on Rotten Tomatoes; definitely, nothing to scoff at.

“Parker Finn’s auspicious debut blends strong supernatural horror with a tragic metaphor for mental illness. Ultimately, it’s tragic rather than terrifying.”  critic Jack Hawkins said on Rotten Tomatoes.

The film’s heavily set themes of facing one’s trauma are evident enough to make this more than just another scary B-flick, but a film that spirals down the psyche of one with past trauma, and with a supernatural twist.

Another critical take from Rotten Tomatoes reviewer David Nusair stated: “…an atmospheric endeavor that benefits from its stark visuals and smattering of genuinely creepy sequences…” Certainly, the film gives off much dread and terror throughout, but some fans might not find the number of jumpscares to be satisfying. 

Reviewer Nikki Baughan praised the film, yet mentioned this flaw: “Smart, effective horror which mines the psychological demons that can overwhelm even the most stable of lives, even if it relies too heavily on easy jump scares to deliver its shocks.”

Yet, even though the film was riddled with jump scares, it remained effective enough to keep even the most dire horror fans on the edge of their seat. 

“There are a lot of great scares and tension smiling upon us,”  reviewer Leo Brady said, “Smile is a new face of horror.”

For the most part, Smile has seemed to grip a large audience with its themes, atmosphere, and genuine scares. Smile shouldn’t be missed this Halloween season.