Parker Finn’s Film “Smile” Makes Audiences Scream

Smile is a horror flick with a twist you won´t believe.


“Smile” is a horror flick with a twist you won´t believe.

“Smile” directed by Parker Finn was not what I expected. It had an interesting ad campaign, posing grinning actors at ballgames, but I remained skeptical. Something about the trailers felt so generic. I was wrong.

“Smile” centers around doctor Rose Cotter, a psychologist who witnesses a horrible incident with a patient, and is left haunted, or hunted. Rose, played by Sosie Bacon, is easy to connect with. Her struggles to make her profession and herself understood to the world endears us to her. Unlike many other horror protagonists, Rose is smart, so there’s no need to yell at her through the screen.

The plot is stable and intriguing, with no simple solutions. While “Smile” is a bit heavy on the jumpscare, Finn knows how to balance shock and unease to give a lasting effect. “Smile” is a film I’d say one should enjoy with friends, to scream and hold onto one another. While there is some intense gore, these segments are relatively quick, and more squeamish viewers can close their eyes.

On a sappier note, I praise the film’s dealings with mental illness and suicide. Finn makes several writing choices concerning the nature of The Smile that avoid demonizing mental illness. It is refreshing to see a director have sympathy for the mentally ill instead of exploiting their struggles for shock value. It should be noted that there are graphic depictions of suicide throughout the film.

Combining fear and sadness into a breathtaking experience, “Smile” is a film that lives up to its tagline; once you see it, it’s too late.