Are You Capable of Smiling at Parker Finn’s “Smile”?


Photo courtesy of Google Images

Poster for Parker Finn’s Smile

Tristan Roberts , Journalist

Horror has been a guilty pleasure for many, a genre attempting to entertain with its audiences own fears, and turmoils. Film is one of the most enticing ways for people to experience true horror. Although gears have begun to turn, a new direction in the medium has occurred. A direction led off of visual horror, jump scares, disturbing imagery, and dark color palettes, all of these things sound inherently intriguing, yet most horror films are forgotten. Whether it be for their blandness, stale story telling, and somehow boring shock factors.

Sadly for Las Vegas, there are very few special, or limited screenings of films, outside of the deeply scarce pre-showing for the highly anticipated “Amsterdam” by David Russel, which due to such scarcity and rarity won’t be covered until its October 7th, Release. As doubtful as it seems, there are many films for students to look forward to this week. 

Horror fans are still eating well though, due to the release of director Parker Finn’s “Smile” was released worldwide on September 30th. It tells the story of Dr.Rose Cotter, played by Sosie Bacon Cotter, who witnesses a traumatic incident involving a patient of hers and starts experiencing terrifying occurrences un-explainable by logic. Whilst not a film for everyone, due to its R Rating and horror nature, along with its low critic score, its bound to provide sustenance for Horror fans this week.

A disturbing scene from the Smile trailer. (Photo Courtesy of Google Images)

Finn is a relatively new director, previously known for his awarded short films “Laura Hasn’t Slept” and “The Hidebehind.” Both films experiment with his stylistic horror, with “Laura Hasn’t Slept” following a similar plot line as “Smile.” It’s easy to grasp on the significance of trauma in his works.

As ”Smile” is his first full length film, Finn gets to expand on his ideas, and flesh out his characters and themes. 

Marisa Mirabal of Indiewire states “Finn fleshes out Rose’s character with backstories and glimpses into the relationships with her boss, her mother, her fiance, and her older sister. Rose’s emotional turmoil is visually engrossing as a result of Bacon’s impressively frenetic performance.” Mirabal believes that the emphasis on trauma brings significant emotional weight to such a simple sounding horror film.

Finn envisioned a film in which he took multiple common conceptions of fear, and mashed them together to create something. 

He states “I wanted to take all that stuff, and create a film that feels like an escalating nightmare.”

Smile provides an opportunity to many students this week to turn a prospective frown upside down. Sources  reckon the film has potential, but may flop due to it being Finn’s first experience. Maybe viewers might end up smiling themselves!