Film Review: Horror flick Smile flashes its pearly-whites, but lacks bite

"an interesting prospect: a psychological horror rooted in the harmful self-delusions of mental illness"
Film Review: Horror flick Smile flashes its pearly-whites, but lacks bite

Smile: opens up wide, but there's cavities in its horror-movie maw

  • Smile 
  • ★★★☆☆
  • Smile (16s) stars Sosie Bacon as Dr Rose Cotter, a psychiatrist who is deeply traumatised when she witnesses one of her patients smiling through the process of cutting her own throat. Matters go from bad to truly disturbing, however, when Rose starts experiencing hallucinations in which the smiling patient reappears, urging Rose to kill herself.

    Written and directed by Parker Finn, Smile is an interesting prospect: a psychological horror rooted in the harmful self-delusions of mental illness, and one that deploys that most pleasant of everyday miracles, a smile, as its harbinger of terror.

    But just as Rose and those around her — her boss, Dr Desai (Kal Penn), her fiancé Trevor (Jessie T. Usher) and her sister Holly (Gillian Zinser) — begin to question her sanity, Parker Finn draws back from peeping into the abyss. Instead, he resorts to the most banal of horror flick devices, the repetitive jump-scare, the monotony of which is just about ameliorated by Sosie Bacon’s spirited turn as the terrorised Rose.

    (cinema release)

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    Execution Time: 0.239 s