Smile (2022)

Rated 18
Spoiler Free

Yeah yeah yeah I’m late to the party, Smiling.

As one of the horror films from 2022 which really got people talking I knew, as is the case with horror, that Smile could go either way. Barbarian was a huge disappointment, Hellraiser was worse than expected with pretty low expectations, but Men absolutely was not. Men was oddly a brilliant surprise, like a finger up the bum you weren’t expecting but which worked.

Not saying I’d say it's for everyone, but hey what works, works.

The synopsis, where a psychiatric doctor witnesses a horrific, almost supernatural event and then becomes convinced she’s stalked by the same evil, has echoes of It Follows and Ring. It’s not a bad idea, the creeping fear of something real to you but to everyone else is fucking mental, plus a little bit of mystery as to what it is and where its from.

What Smile does it does well. There’s lashings of gore, which is pleasingly explicit and really why else are you there? The first and second act are fun but it all goes a bit out of context weird in the last. Every film has to climax, and Smile does crescendo, but it felt a little out of keeping for me.

Bedsit it?

Smile is definitely worth your time if you’re a horror fan. It’s not going to convert anyone who isn’t. Some things to like and certain elements which will split opinion but overall I liked it and it is nowhere near as bad as Barbarian or the new Hellraiser. 7/10

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