After Smile topped the box office, director Parker Finn shares an exclusive look at his short film Laura Didn’t Sleep, which preceded the horror hit.
Following the box office success of Smile, the director shares a look at Laura Didn’t Sleep, the short film behind the surprise horror hit. Paramount released the supernatural horror film in late September, and it dominated the domestic theatrical market for three weeks after its premiere. Smile revolves around Rose Cotter, a psychiatrist who watches the paranoid Laura (Caitlin Stasey) commit suicide in front of her. After her traumatic experience, Rose begins to have increasingly terrifying visions that only she can see.
Before Smile topped the box office, director Parker Finn created the short film Laura Didn’t Sleep, which precedes the events of the supernatural horror hit. IGN and Finn share an exclusive clip from Laura Hasn’t Slept, which shows Stasey as Laura talking to a therapist. Suddenly, the therapist begins speaking cryptically, and the office rots and crumbles around Laura, who is terrified. Check out the short film below:
How Smile builds on his short film
Viewers will immediately notice that Laura Hasn’t Slept features the same character and actor from the very beginning of Smile. Laura de Stasey is stretched out in Rose Mental Hospital days after witnessing her art history teacher commit suicide and ramble on about a smiling entity telling her she’s going to die. Shortly after their introduction, Laura cuts her throat with a piece of porcelain in front of a traumatized Rose, passing the smiling curse on the film’s protagonist.
Finn’s 2019 short (which premiered at South by Southwest in 2020) shows a brief glimpse of Laura’s continued encounter with the smiling entity just before she meets Rose and falls victim to the curse. Many elements of Laura Hasn’t Slept persist in Smile, primarily the main narrative, Stasey/Laura, and the paranoid atmosphere generated by the incomprehensible supernatural force that haunts Rose throughout the film. But while Laura Hasn’t Slept’s cinematography and editing are impressive, Smile features much more polished visual effects, saving most of the important environmental transformations for the film’s ending. He also forgoes the trope of the entity’s eyes returning to his head.
Although it didn’t have a household brand name attached, Smile emerged triumphant at the box office thanks to clever marketing tactics during MLB games and strong word-of-mouth. It’s inspiring to see that the film has an equally humble origin in Finn’s short Laura Didn’t Sleep, which is the passion project of an early writer/director who brought in a major film studio. . Finn’s creation is simple but effective, and Smile fans should be thrilled to see the short. Not only could this foster a spark in their cinematic endeavors, but its events add additional context to Smile as a whole regarding the gruesome and seemingly inescapable curse at its center.