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Horror Mo(vie)Tober: Smile (2022) Review


After witnessing a bizarre, traumatic incident involving a patient, Dr. Rose Cotter starts experiencing frightening occurrences that she can't explain. As an overwhelming terror begins taking over her life, Rose must confront her troubling past in order to survive and escape her horrifying new reality.


Last Friday, me and my homie Lauren went and saw SMILE, directed by Parker Finn, at the Emagine Theater of Rochester Hills. I went into this movie with high expectations because there was a huge marketing campaign with actors being hired to stand still at many baseball games and other televised events, smiling the entire time.

My expectations were met, with this film having me on the edge of my seat the entire time. A few of the jump scares were predictable, but the moment I let my guard down I would be scared to the point of audibly screaming. This movie increasingly gets more tense as it progresses, with the main character, Dr. Rose Cotter (Sosie Bacon), spiraling into a nightmarish mental state. Watching her physical appearance slowly get worse and worse really disturbs me and helps the viewers understand how awful her experience is.

Without giving anything away, some scenes of this movie were incredibly hard to watch. I felt so much anguish as some of the events played out, and I physically could not look at the screen without feeling awful. I thought that the story of this movie was a little basic, but the acting and jump-scares make up for the simple story, which is the case for most horror movies in my opinion. Some movies just execute their cinematography, scares, and acting better than others.

On the topic of cinematography, Smile is shot at very unnerving camera angles that make the viewer feel isolated and claustrophobic, much like how the main character feels isolated because nobody understands her.

Smile also has a WONDERFULLY eerie soundtrack, composed by Cristobal Tapia de Veer, that made me feel so uncomfortable. Tapia de Veer also composed the UTOPIA soundtrack, which is a wonderful UK show that I recommend everyone check out! I loved the panning and unrecognizable instruments. I think horror movie soundtracks are the best when you have absolutely no idea what instruments are making those noises. When the end credits rolled, Lauren and I wanted to leave the theater immediately because of the background music, which was horrifying.

I definitely recommend watching Smile if you want to challenge yourself and try to not get scared! I am going to rate this movie an 8.3/10 for having some unexpected jump-scares and keeping me on the edge of my seat the entire time. Some of the jump-scares were predictable, especially since the trailers include one of the most prominent jump-scares. I could not avoid the trailers, the advertising for this movie was everywhere!!! With the rest of the movies I have reviewed so far, the CGI was not the best, sadly. I think the practical effects were REALLY well done, but bad CGI can ruin what was made good with practical effects. I wish more movies just stuck with practical effects, or had out of this world CGI that was indistinguishable from real props. Other than bad CGI, the soundtrack was incredible, the acting was really well done, and the gory scenes were crazily realistic.

Send me a message on Instagram (@z0berland) with your thoughts and opinions of my reviews, or give me some movie/album recommendations!

I would like to thank Emagine Theater Rochester Hills for having awesomely comfortable seats and my homie Lauren for watching Smile with me.


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