‘Smile’ is sweeping Creek, why?


Paramount Pictures

Marie Webster, Staff Writer

The horror film Smile, directed by Parker Finn, has taken over conversations all over Creek. Why? Released Sept. 30, the psychological horror movie starring Sosie Bacon is under review for possibly being labeled as the scariest movie of the year. 

The movie is not an original. Finn based it off of his 2020 short film Laura Hasn’t Slept. Because the short was such a hit, the movie was announced in Sept. 2021. The movie’s title was originally Laura Hasn’t Slept, but was later changed to Smile.

The filming process ended in late Nov. 2021, editing lasted through May 2022, and in June, the eight-second teaser was released. 

But how did the movie actually turn out?

“It did make me cry a little bit, it was kind of disturbing,” sophomore Haley Mcnasby said. But not disturbing enough to leave the theater – in fact, Mcnasby says she enjoyed it. “I think it’s a good movie. It’s scary, but it’s good.”

Sophomore Caden Shrewsberry thinks the film’s popularity isn’t necessarily due to its scariness. Instead, it’s word of mouth. “People say it’s really scary, so then everyone else is like ‘oh now I need to see it because everyone else watched it,’” Shrewsberry said.

Maybe it was the marketing that caught students’ eyes. At multiple MLB games, players were being paid to “smile” creepily to market the movie. But this wasn’t all: the Today Show also got hit with the movie’s odd marketing strategies. A woman was paid to stand behind on-screen glass, again smiling like the movie characters. 

And it seems the marketing paid off. 

With a budget of $17 million, the film made its money back and lots more. Mere days after premiering, the movie had already racked up $37 million. 

 Just how big of a deal is this new horror film?

“After I got done watching it, I was like, man, this is gonna be the next new thing, you know?” Senior Chase Brackney said. “It was one of those things that you could keep on watching.”

Despite the fact Smile earned a 79% on Rotten Tomatoes, Creek students seem to love the movie.

My experience with the movie is similar to both Shrewsbury’s and Mcsnasby’s. Although I thought it had jumpscares that I wouldn’t forget about for the next week, the actual movie was not “all that”.  

The plot was somewhat predictable, but the jumpscares were not. It wasn’t a bad movie, and I would definitely recommend it to people that like scary movies. Just maybe don’t expect a complex plot. 

“It’s like the Scream of our parents’ generation,” Brackney said.