Dog’s Movie House: “Smile” Scary As Hell!”

This is one damn creepy movie, folks! The story is fairly simple, but the way it’s layed out is positively brilliant. Writer/Director Parker Finn crafts an atmosphere of dread that rarely lets up. By investing then the inherent fear we all have of losing our mind and then coupling it to a supernatural force that thrives in that environment, Finn has created a one-two combo of gut-churning terror. That this is Finn’s debut feature makes the achievement all the more impressive. As for the performances, this is Bacon’s show from beginning to end. You’re in her head, in her life, from the very first frame and her terror and disbelief becomes your terror and disbelief. The audience is so invested in her that even the obvious jump scares (not that there are many) are very effective. The other performances are also good, with Gallner and Robin Wiigert (as Rose’s therapist) as the standouts. Jessie T. Usher and Kal Penn also do well in smaller roles. Most of them come off as unlikable characters, but that actually serves the film as it makes a tension filled atmosphere even more so as Rose realizes no one will believe her.

And those jump scares. . . every single one is earned and speaks to the immersion in Rose’s horrifying journey that nothing feels cheap. Finn also amps up the dread with forbidding camera angles and a creepy score (by Cristobal Tapia De Veer). This is a great horror film and will become one of the classics that should become a Halloween staple. See this with a loved one who likes to be scared. 4 1/2 Out Of 5 On Kendog’s Barkometer! So Sayeth The Kendog!

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