‘Smile’ made me frown

Smile made me frown

“Smile” is a new horror film that hit theaters this September. It’s about a curse that haunts Dr. Rose Cotter with the fright of seeing illusions of others with smiles on their faces. This curse is passed on through the act of seeing her brief patient commit a gruesome suicide in front of her flashing a chilling smile. Throughout the film, Dr. Rose struggles to find a way out of this grinning curse. This will be a spoiler-free review, so this will not contain any specific details from the movie. 

The cinematography of this film was impressive. I don’t know if I was just reading into it too much, but scenes with the camera shots upside down really caught my eye. I related that to the symbolism of what could be a metaphor of a frown. A specific scene shown in the trailer for “Smile” was of a camera panning across a hospital hallway and revealing an alarming shot of a patient sitting up, smiling. This would not have been nearly as scary or interesting without that shot, so I appreciated that. If I could give one critique to the cinematography I would add more depth to the scenes with the smileys (the people who smile) so the camera is more focused on them as a subject. 

I was honestly let down by the plot of “Smile.” When I’m watching a movie I don’t want to feel like I already know what’s going to happen next, and that’s exactly how I felt. Not once was I necessarily shocked at anything the characters did; it was so predictable to me that I didn’t really feel scared, or remotely interested, at points in the movie. If I were the writer I would have suggested putting more surprise elements. 

I always want to root for the character in these situations, but I didn’t find any of the characters likable. In my opinion, none of the characters made smart decisions the entire film, and there was plenty of opportunity. The only character that was even remotely likable was Rose’s ex-boyfriend Joel, and they didn’t even elaborate why their relationship ended in the first place. 

I was really impressed with the title reveal in the movie because it was something I’ve never seen before. It was “Smile” flashing in red and black, getting closer to the screen with intense sounds. The sound effects and the alert were the most interesting parts of the movie, though. Audiences didn’t get that alarming vibe throughout the rest of the movie, unfortunately. My biggest pet peeve was when the credits rolled and they played “Lollipop” by The Chordettes. This might be an unpopular opinion, but I don’t like when movies play old upbeat songs after a scary movie. 

“Smile” was an okay movie for me. I can see why people are hyping it up and saying it’s scary, but it’s just not for me. I would give “Smile” a 3 out of 5, it was definitely something that I think people would enjoy and think was scary and even though it wasn’t my cup of tea, I would still recommend others watch it.