If we were to look at psychological horror these days one thing is becoming permantley clear. It's actually time to discuss true mental health issues in these films. JOKER left audiences speechless with its daunting look at disorders. The new film from Parker Finn breathes that same air with his unforgettable thriller SMILE. After a horrific encounter with a patient a therapist soon starts to experience those same dilemmas. There is tons at play here with a final conclusion that will have audiences wanting more.
SMILE stars Sosie Bacon as Dr. Rose Cotter. While her mission in life is to help others she clearly has some hidden demons from her own past. Though don't we all? Facing our fears is in the backbone of dealing with mental illness and Finn and cast do a great job of scraping away at your mind. While many fans and critics will site TRUTH OR DARE or IT FOLLOWS as pure inspiration for the film we personally think otherwise. Students of Asian horror will undoubtedly see all the comparisons of timeless movies from their region. To the extent where the film almost feels like an asian horror remake of some kind. That is not to take away from anything Finn or the cast have done with SMILE as its based off a short film Parker previously made. There are layers in this film that can't be denied.
SMILE stands alone with momentum moving towards sheer uneasiness for the viewers. It's going to do tremendous in theaters. While the overall aesthetic may seen similar to other features SMILE carries its own weight. Loaded with terror and disdain and a really captivating performance from Bacon SMILE is brilliant. Look for this film on everyones best of the year list in the upcoming months.
SMILE is directed by Parker Finn and stars Sosie Bacon, Jessie T. Usher Kyle Gallner, Caitlin Stasey, Kal Penn and Rob Morgan.
SMILE made it's World Premiere at Fantastic Fest 2022 look for it in theaters everywhere on September 30th courtesy of Paramount Pictures