Movie Review: Smile (2022)

Synopsis: Therapist Rose Carter meets an intake patient in the hospital psychiatric wing who witnessed a suicide and now believes something is stalking her. The patient kills herself in front of Rose and she immediately starts experiencing similar occurrences that slowly drive her close to insanity.

Who's in it? The movie stars Sosie Bacon, Jessie T. Usher, Kyle Gallner, Robin Weigert and Caitlin Stasey.

Review: My daughter wanted to see this movie, so my wife and I agreed to watch it with her this evening. I wasn't really sure what to expect from it, but it ended up being a good choice.

I think the thing I liked the most about this film was the mystery surrounding what was happening to Rose (Bacon). The occurrences looked supernatural at first, but her family also had a history of mental illness, and she experienced something traumatic, so it could have also been her having a mental break. Some scenes, including the one involving her cat, supported the latter while some of the jump scares and suspenseful scenes made the latter seem plausible.

I also liked how Rose's descent into madness was gradual, with her trying to make sense of the situation and even self-diagnose herself with PTSD-related side effects before crossing into the whole "something is stalking me" mode. A lot of movies like this tend to rush things like that and make it less effective. 

I thought the pacing of the movie could have been better because there were times when it just seemed to drag on, especially when it would show her driving in the car from place to place. Plus, the plot reminded me a little too much of the movie It Follows, though the evil entity in this film transferred between hosts through death instead of unprotected sex.

However, unlike plenty of other movies like this one, the ending at least was decent. It didn't bring a whole lot of closure (likely setting up a sequel) but it was somewhat unexpected and a good way to end a film like this one.

Final Opinion: As I said, the movie could have moved at a slightly quicker pace, but I thought the mystery surrounding what was happening to Rose was entertaining and the film had some genuinely creepy moments. It's a film I'd recommend taking the time to watch.

My Grade: A-


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