now playing



SMILE (2022)

Dr. Rose Cotter (Sosie Bacon) witnesses a new patient (Caitlin Stasey) commit suicide right in front of her after telling her she is being pursued by a smiling malevolent entity that wants her dead. Soon Rose starts to feel she is now being targeted too and starts to investigate with her policeman ex Joel (Kyle Gallner). She finds a chain of supposed demonic influenced suicides that leads right to her.
Supernatural horror is written and directed by Parker Finn and borrows a lot from the far spookier It Follows, so much so that it is practically a rip-off. It is a generic and somewhat dull mainstream horror that relies on jump scares and loud noises to elicit responses far more than actual suspense or frights. The cast are fine enough and technically Finn is a competent director, but the film is far too reminiscent of David Robert Mitchell’s chilling indie from 2014 to be effective. It just substitutes sex for suicide as the demon targets those who witness the previous victim’s demise. The FX are good, such as the entity’s true form, but it’s simply too predictable and routine to make it interesting. Also, a bit too long at 115 minutes. It drags in spots. A mediocre flick whose best ideas are from someone else’s movie.

-MonsterZero NJ

2 and 1-2 star rating