Smile: The new horror movie everyone’s talking about


Content warning: This story contains discussions of violence and suicide.

Horror movies have changed drastically since they were first created. They used to be more about the pure scare and thrill of watching it. These days that just isn’t enough, as each new horror movie that comes out this century tries to outdo itself with gore and trauma. Smile, a new horror film currently in theaters, is definitely a competitor in this type of genre. 

The movie Smile is from the point of view of the character Dr. Rose Cotter, a psychiatrist that deals with mentally ill patients. A patient comes to her in distress after her college professor killed himself brutally in front of her. Cotter is shocked when the patient proceeds to slit her own throat while eerily smiling at her. After that disturbing event, Cotter starts seeing a creature smiling at her wherever she goes, portraying itself through humans. 

This movie definitely had a way of showing off gore. Each death shown finds a new level of disturbingness–it may be triggering for some with how grim it is. We see multiple people commit suicide. For example in one scene shown we see a character tear his own face off while screaming 

That being said, the plot is actually quite interesting, and keeps you on the edge of your seat. We get to see the visions that our protagonist, Cotter, sees. The audience feels Cotter’s pain and frustration when people think she’s psychotic. It takes on a kind of psychological horror that keeps you uneasy for the whole movie. 

The cinematography in the movie was also great. A scene would often start with the camera flipped upside down, giving off an eerie feeling that things are wrong. It tells the story effectively and has some amazing shots. One of these shots being the very last scene where there was a reflection shot in a character’s eye as they view something traumatic.

All this being said, the horror movie wasn’t really different from any other horror movie put out this decade. You may have seen people on social media talking about how it traumatized them or how it stuck with them for weeks after watching it, but nothing in the movie really makes it that impressive. It has jump scares, gore and a twist ending, the same aspects that most horror movies include. 

If you are in the mood for a bit of a scare and a fun night, then I recommend watching this movie. However, if you only want to see this film because you are expecting a truly astounding horror movie like which you’ve never seen, you may be disappointed.