What We’re Watching With Walter Williams
SMILE – 3⭐
One of the most unsettling horror movies of 2022 with shades of “The Grudge” and “The Ring” premise is “Smile”.
The films score is edgy like nails, Nine Inch Nails that is, or on a chalk board in a scene from “Jaws” and cranks up to volume eleven for maximum impact when the horror levels rise from 1 to 10 like a pain threshold metre for your ears. I kept waiting for a surprise or twist, but there wasn’t one even though it felt like it was building to one. Making the ending very predictable. Still I liked how “Smile” sensitively handled mental illness and even frowned on one of the investigating policeman for his complete lack of empathy towards patients.
In “Smile” you can witness a normally sane, educated woman’s slide into mental illness and they make it believable and that in itself is scary…even when you strip away the Supernatural elements. How far are any of us from falling into the dark depths of the Black Dog?
One trope I’d love to see removed from Horror screenplays like this is when a character opens the fridge door, looks inside the fridge, then shuts the fridge door…all the while making film goers think maybe there’s something behind the fridge door waiting, but there never is anymore. In fact, there are more than one second hand scenario playing out in “Smile” and that’s one of its weaknesses…along with the stereotypical boyfriend who won’t support, listen or understand his lovers slippery slide into madness.
“Smile” is not even the first horror movie to use this title. There was another back in 2009 starring Armand Assante.
Plenty of jump scares in just under 2 hours, just ask the guys who were sitting behind me in the cinema screening on opening night as they gave a running commentary throughout the movie…that never gets old.
Watch out for: Kevin Keppy as “Nightmare Mum”. So, imagine Marilyn Manson was your mum and you’ll get the vibe.
Also normally comic actor Kal Penn as the head Doctor running the hospital where the movie’s second kill is played out.
The producers say: “Once you see it, it’s too late.”
I say: The Upside Down photography is too much, too little, too late!
It’s all been done before.
“Smile” is a mind worm that will bury itself inside the hollow of your skull.