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"SMILE" Review

A Review on the Newest Psychological Thriller just in Time for Fall.

By Amanda Healy

When the temperature begins to drop and the leaves start to change colors, signs are showing that Halloween is just around the corner. This has always been my favorite time of year, and one of the best activities to get you into the spirit of the holiday is to watch scary movies. "Smile," directed by Parker Finn, was just released in theaters, and is the perfect scary movie to get you into the spooky season. This psychological thriller keeps the audience on their toes, as they try to connect the pattern of mysterious suicides while not able to escape the creepiest of smiles.

To summarize, Dr. Rose Cotter, a therapist, witnesses a frightening sight after spending time with a new patient. This event brings her into a pattern of killings, where she now has to face her new reality, one where she has to fight to explain the unexplainable. But, does she even understand it herself?

Finn did an excellent job of mixing sinister elements with mystery and a splash of humor. The entire ambiance of the film aids in the movie's vision, from the cinematography to hidden elements.

One of the best parts of this film was the different cinematic shots, which were often accompanied by uneasy sounds and music. This started at the film's beginning with the opening credits, and continued through techniques such as blurring the background so you are forced to look at the emotion on the actor's face, or even filming the woods upside down. These different directorial choices vividly amplify the difficulties Cotter faces. The incorporation of different smiley faces or photographs of happy families scattered throughout the film adds to its unhinged nature.

You may feel disoriented during the film at different points, because it can be hard to distinguish Cotter's new reality from actual reality —an intentional choice. This is magnified toward the end, but you will need to go and watch it for yourself to understand the intensity. Personally, I am not one to get scared during movies, so I enjoyed trying to solve the underlying mystery of the film. However many audience members were peeking through their hands, especially when the devious smile appeared.

If you are looking for a scary and psychological movie, go and see "Smile." Even though it may not be the scariest of movies, it is worth watching and will definitely put you in the mood for Spooky Season!

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