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Horror movie will wipe Smile from your dial

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SMILE (MA15+)

  • Director: Parker Finn
  • Cast: Sosie Bacon, Kyle Gallner, Caitlin Stasey, Jessie T. Usher, Robin Weigert
  • Genre: Horror
  • Running time: 1 hour 55 minutes

If you listen to my teenage daughter, who loves horror films, Paramount Pictures’ latest offering Smile is one of the best.

And, as a fan of such classics as The Amityville Horror, Halloween, Evil Dead, Friday The 13th and Scream, I must admit it’s not half bad either.

These days, it is hard to catch a flick that boasts originality – and a genuine scare factor.

But, in some ways, Smile offers something new, while providing a fright or two.

Well, my daughter literally jumped out of her seat at least four or five times, which proves my point.

However, to be honest, she’s also the target audience.

So, what’s the storyline of this supernatural movie?

After witnessing a bizarre, traumatic incident involving a patient, Dr Rose Cotter (Sosie Bacon) starts experiencing frightening occurrences that she can’t explain.

As an overwhelming terror begins taking over her life, she must confront her troubling past… all in order to survive and escape her horrifying reality.

Based on Parker Finn’s 2020 short film, Laura Hasn’t Slept, Smile is also his feature directorial debut.

And, apart from a scratchy ending, which relies on CGI, he hasn’t done too poorly.

For her part, Bacon (Mare of Easttown) is quite believable as the unfortunate medic Dr Cotter, who spends a lot of time trying to convince her fiancée and ex-boyfriend that she’s not crazy.

But, she certainly boasts the acting chops, despite being a relatively unknown leading lady.

Father Kevin Bacon is a certified Hollywood star, thanks to a string of hits such as Footloose, A Few Good Men, JFK, Apollo 13, Mystic River and X-Men: First Class, to name a handful.

Her mother and Golden Globe Award winner, Kyra Sedgwick, is the doyen of television, thanks to her role as Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson in The Closer.  

So, on this occasion, Sosie holds her own.

The support cast is fairly strong, too, headed by Aussie Caitlin Stasey (Neighbours), Kyle Gallner (Veronica Mars), Jessie T. Usher (The Boys) and Robin Weigert (Sons of Anarchy).

If you have a couple of spare hours, you could do a lot worse than watch Smile, like take in the disappointing Don’t Worry Darling.

However, I bet you’ll look at someone differently if they smile at you.

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