Smile – Movie Reviews by Ry!

Smile – Terror of Happiness: Say Cheese!!!!

Watching film, you witness to many amazing things.  I am a person that looks forward film, especially if its genre’s I truly enjoy.  This year, we have seen the return of the Summer Blockbuster, a rise in Indie Films and worthy risk of original content.  For all these great tidings, one thing that 2022 is getting recognize for are the great horror films.  With this next review, I look at the latest in this genre.  A journey that revels in mystery and tension, Smile is simply … a chilling escape of what makes horror films great.

The journey follows Doctor Rose Cotter (Sosie Bacon) as she witnesses a horrible suicide.  Traumatized from the event, she begins to experience terrible visions she can’t explain.  As her reality begins to breakdown, will she find answers or succumb to a dark fate.  Through the basics of the genre, the direction places you in a state of ominous confusion through the eyes of the main character.  We are thrust into Dr. Cotter’s daily routines at the hospital as she helps patients with certain mental traumas.  Everything seems normal until one session changes everything.  After this specific event, she begins to experience certain trauma that starts to affect her cognitive thoughts of reality.  The unraveling is slow, driven by a methodical approach of subtle appearances of oddities in her every day.  Each scene compounds to the next, stirring the pot of ambiguity of the moment.  The threatening state of the experiences is driven through a multi-layered approach of characterization, subtle camera movement, score and art direction.  Through this combination, the unraveling of Dr. Cotter’s own mental state blurs the lines of reality, creating a question that becomes a constant revolving door of what is real or make believe.  Each scene builds up from the next, leading to an experience that is ripe with atmospheric tension, ominous experiences and unexpected frightful events.  What you have is smartly woven breakdown of humanistic detail that is built through a smarty written script that breaks away from the tradition ‘jump scare’ gimmicks.  The audience is left in the actualization of watching Dr. Cotter’s mind unravel through an unexplained occurrence. 

As the doctor tries to seek any help, no one wants to believe what she is experiencing is real.  This leads to an added layer of mystery and investigation elements, providing depth to the unraveling nature of her mind.  As things start to come to light, it becomes a race against time on trying to survive her own mental issues.  Each moment becomes more dire than the next, adding more depth (to the scares), as perception blurs her reality further creating unexpected turn of events.  This leads into a third act of predictable mishaps, but one that heightens the terror of inevitability for the climax and epilogue.  Smile is another great horror film in 2022.  If you are a fan of the genre, tension or great film experience, this is one for you.  I say this is worth the full price of admission at the theaters.

Full Score – 4 out of 5 (Full Price)

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