Horror Movie, “Smile”, Review 

Gabrielle Bossart, Reporter

The other day a few friends and I went to see the new horror movie, Smile. Walking into the theater, I was apprehensive because while I love movies, horror movies are not typically my jam. The last thing my wild imagination needs is something tangible to work with, so I do not usually enjoy the genre. However, with the encouragement of my friends, I braved the film and lived to tell the tale, although I cannot say I did not leave unscathed.  

The movie got scores in the seventies for rotten tomatoes and is sitting at a 6.8 on IMBD. Both ratings are high for a genre that notoriously struggles to please audiences. Bolstered by this, I was expecting an excellent film, and I cannot say I was entirely disappointed. The movie contains the typical aspects one would expect in a horror film with a solid handful of jump scares that had me practically out of my seat. That said, there was plenty of suspense as well. Once I had a firm grasp on the plot, I found myself eager to see how it would finish. The film was also consistently engaging with good pacing and strong performances from the leads. However, without giving too much away, I have a few critiques.  

I think leaving the main, evil entity slightly more ambiguous would have made the film scarier. The unknown allows the imagination to personalize the fear to the viewer, creating a more terrifying experience. This would have also left more room for heavy symbolism regarding the entity and its relation to mental health. I also think the history of the entity could have been explored more. To gain an understanding of the entity, the characters dig into the past and discover that this malicious presence has collected several victims already. However, they do not try to uncover the origins of the entity or trace the incidents back to a source. Doing this would have been interesting and might have been helpful to the characters. I will say, though, that the film ends in a way that leaves the door open for a potential sequel or prequel, so it is possible that the writers are saving the entity’s backstory for another movie. As a psychologically thrilling horror movie, Smile succeeded for me. I left the theater feeling on edge and uneasy as the ending escapes predictability and left me uncomfortably pleased as I did not get the ending that my sanity wanted but one that was arguably, and terrifyingly, more realistic. Overall, I definitely think it is worth a watch if you are a fan of the genre.  

 Gabrielle Bossart is a Dakota Student Reporter. She can be reached at [email protected].