Something is changing in mystery and horror movies when the underlying theme that is addressed is mental illness and it is done from a more or less coherent (although supernatural) perspective. Maybe that’s why Smile is being a box office surprise, well has taken the United States by storm far above other productions without that esoteric charge, such as Don’t Worry, Darling and other dramatic premieres that have gone unnoticed. What makes ‘Smile’ an offbeat horror movie? Perhaps his secret is that the mystery dressing he plays with is only the smile, something that we do not associate precisely with terror but with joy and that used well can become a very disturbing element capable of producing the same fear as a ghostly gaze.
If just a few weeks ago Stephen King He already recommended us on his Twitter account that we watch the Netflix series The Ohio Devil, now the American writer uses social networks to praise this tape even higher. ‘Good horror movie, but the biggest surprise is Sosie Bacon’s performance. What an incredible job!’, King published in networks. Bacon gives life to Dr. Rose Cotter, a psychologist who works with patients of all kinds and who in one of her sessions talks with a young woman who says she is witnessing very disturbing visions, as if the people around her, known or unknown, smile at him in a way that causes him high doses of fear and uneasiness. Everything seems more or less accessible to the doctor, but the young woman goes into shock in what looks like a panic attack and immediately calms down, showing Rose a tremendously disturbing wide smile, then commits suicide without the psychologist being able to do anything to prevent it. She will be powerless, the suicide of her patient will be a traumatic experience that will accompany her for life, however something even worse will have stuck to her body: a curse.
This start of Smile works like other supernatural movies, Dr. Rose will be under the influence of a supernatural doom that is transferred from person to person when they witness a suicide of the previous bewitched, and in this way he will enter a disturbing obsession spiral that consists of witnessing hallucinogenic visions seeing the people around him smile. The smile is the mysterious and disturbing element that heralds here that something bad is going to happen.
But how can a simple smile become such a disturbing element? We’re not even referring to a laugh like the one you played joaquin phoenix in joker (film that also deals with mental illnesses), and it is that in Smile We only find the lip grimace that produces the smile, for which no special effects have been used to distort or exaggerate it. According to the film’s director, Parker Finn, the secret is in the actor selection process, capable of expressing immense joy with their mouths and with their eyes a coldness that makes your hair stand on end. When both contradictory messages are given, according to the director, the sensation we receive chills our blood because the smile becomes a harbinger of something disturbing.
Smile follows in the wake of other horror productions that have become contemporary classics of the genre and that bear many similarities. What The Ringthe remake of a Japanese film in which he starred naomi watts in 2002 about an urban legend, in which if you see a haunted VHS tape you will receive the phone call from a spirit that will cause your death in 7 days. Similarly, another indisputable horror film success that has a deep relationship with Smile It’s a 2014 movie It Follows in which the curse is transferred between adolescents when they have sexual relations, then a ghost that can take the form of any acquaintance or stranger will follow you until it devours you. Both feature films are considered jewels of the recent horror genre, and based on the box office data for ‘Smile’, this may be the third title to be added to the podium.