Nothing to smile about: Horror movie fails to stand out

Owen Crews
Sports Editor

Content warning this article discusses topics of suicide and trauma.

Art by Frances Baken

“Smile” is one of the newest original horror movies that was released into theaters Sept. 30.
This psychological thriller movie that has viewers on their toes has fantastic cinematography with shots that intend to make the viewers to be just as uneasy as the random people that smile in this movie.

Sosie Bacon (“13 Reasons Why”) plays Dr. Rose Cotter, a psychiatrist, who has a mysterious patient who comes in and kills herself as she is smiling.
Cotter then has to deal with the repercussions that come with that. The movie then deals with her mental state and an evil presence she can’t seem to shake.
“Smile” also deals with mental health as Cotter had a tough relationship with her mother, who also commits suicide.

The whole movie shows the help that people need with their mental health and has people deal with trauma that is caused by watching these suicides. The evil presence then haunts their minds and eventually takes them over.

“Smile” is a movie that uses jump scares to frighten the audience and has a message that deals with the hold trauma has on viewers and how the vicious cycle can continue to harm other people. These suicides and the evil presence shows how trauma can pass down based on interactions. The cycle of trauma kills literally and figuratively.

Overall, the movie was good but not great. The pacing was either too slow or had too much action which will throw viewers off. This is what they were going for as a horror movie element, but it was a weak point.

Another was the ending. The ending will ruin the whole experience for viewer.
Viewers will feel that the message the movie gave was a good one and sticks with the viewers. The problem with the movie was that it didn’t have the same effect of what it could have been.

Not being able to escape the mind that the trauma is trapped into is a good warning, and viewers understand why that was a poignant point being made.

However, a more positive message might have been better because viewers will walk away from that movie feeling like it could have been more.

“Smile” is still a fun watch with friends, and viewers will feel the same.

It won’t stand the test of time as a horror movie to revisit, but it will feel like a stone in stomach because viewers will see the troubles Dr. Cotter goes in, and she is a protagonist that audiences will have an easy time rooting for, and being complex enough to believe the story.

It is a movie that viewers should watch for a serious note of mental health but not for the typical horror movie.

“Smile” is rated R for strong violent content, grisly images, and language. It has a run time of one-hour-and-55 minutes, and the production company is Paramount.

Featured Graphic shows Sosie Bacon as she stars in “Smile.” (Walter Thomson/Paramount Pictures/TNS)


Owen Crews- Sports Editor

This will be Owen Crews’ first year on ECHO staff, but he made several contributions while taking journalism class his sophomore year.

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