Following a horrific event, an evil presence attaches itself to a therapist, giving her unsettling and disturbing visions. In Smile (2022), Rose becomes the target of a sinister game with no clues for a way out. As her visions grow, her past has an even greater impact on her mental state. And she soon questions her sanity as she begins to lose her mind. Providing excellent horror moments for audiences to enjoy.
Rose is an amazing, generous Doctor working to help the most frayed minds return to a normal life. When a patient is brought in claiming an evil entity is following her, she reiterates that she’s not crazy before brutally taking her own life. Suddenly, Rose now finds herself experiencing the same things as the patient. As she races to find a way out, she uncovers a history of unnerving incidents involving many others.
As her mind becomes frayed, her visions grow. Making her question her sanity, while doing her best to put on a show that everything is fine. With things escalating and the clock ticking, she quickly works to leverage every resource possible to find an escape from a horrifying fate.
An Evil Presence
When evil becomes disembodied, it can pursue you in any form. In Smile, Rose witnesses the vile presence for the first time when a patient named Laura comes into her care following so-called delusions. Claiming that she’s being stalked by an unknown entity, that wears the face of people you’re familiar with. Adding that it is in escapable, and she fears for her life.
If that’s not bad enough, imagine this entity can show you nightmarish events you’ve never dreamed of. It awaits you in the dark, it tricks you during daylight. It’ll will slowly make you question reality, and even who you are. To make matters worse, Rose is aware how all of this sounds insane. As a license therapist, she knows that telling the truth will relegate her to the same fate as Laura (her patient). With limited time, she must now act quickly to find an escape.
If all this wasn’t enough, Rose also carries a heavy burden from her past. An event that she’s subdued but never fully conquered. When you understand it for yourself, it’s easy to see how her past can be feel both inescapable and damming at the same time. Dealing with her traumatic past adds to her challenges, and you can’t help but root for her to power through the wicked affliction.
Stellar Presentation of Fear & Suspense
Smile does a great job at displaying fear, capturing a damaging past, and brilliantly executing the unbelievable. There are layers of fear and doubt, and the great acting adds a nuanced and deep characters filled with absolute terror. The combination of these various elements creates a clever blend of psychological horror and suspense with paranormal elements.
Cinematography and sound design do an admirable job at presenting the perception of the characters. Each time Rose has an encounter with the Smile entity, you feel the touch of evil yourself. As you understand how she thinks, you empathize in how she keeps her guard up while pushing forward. As Rose, and the audience, are always on edge when there are indications of the next “episode” coming.
Lighting is also another critical element. Many films over light subjects, removing mystery and intrigue in the process. Smile does this far better by keeping things dark, and at times, barely visible. Rose seeing Laura in her kitchen is a proper example of master class execution of tension, suspense, cinematography, acting, sound, and lighting.
But what may be the element of Smile (2022) itself. When we think “smile” the connotation is positive. It’s never associated with being malevolent in any way. When you see each smile, you’re sense of comfort is challenged and you will feel uncomfortable. It’s also so simple, it is easily convincing and touches your mind in ways few horror films do. Playing with the idea of what a smile means in a highly effective and expert manner. It’s downright clever.
See Smile (2022), Discover New Fear
A traumatic past, a terrifying unknown force, and a ticking time clock make for a terrifying experience. You’ll go in for the scares, but you’ll stay for the story. As Rose tries to find a solution while keeping things together long enough to make her escape. But given that she’s already seen the Smile and her visions are worsening, it’s only a matter of time. As her own personal hell descends upon her, will Rose find a way out?
Smile is amongst the best in paranormal psychological horror to ever grace theaters. Reaching into the ranks of similar works like The Ring (Ringu) and Jacob’s Ladder. If you enjoy those films, we can’t recommend it enough that you see Smile yourself.
See the Trailer, See the Smile (2022) Yourself
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