Smile was released last Wednesday (28 September). The film follows therapist Dr Rose Cotter (Sosie Bacon) who meets a graduate student Laura (Caitlin Stasey) who recently witnessed the suicide of her professor.
When Laura dies by suicide in front of Rose, the gruesome moment triggers a chain of terrifying events for Rose who suddenly feels haunted by the same evil presence that had previously tormented her patient.
The entity manifests as other people, only identifiable through a chilling smile that appears on their face.
The film has received mixed reviews. You can read The Independent’s three-star review here. Many viewers, however, have praised Smile for its “great jump scares” and for being “truly terrifying”.
Many people have pointed out similarities between the plot of Smile and that of David Robert Mitchell’s critically acclaimed 2014 horror film It Follows.
It Follows stars Maika Monroe as a young woman who is pursued by an unknown supernatural force after a strange sexual encounter. The opening moments of the film reveal that the entity is passed on through sexual intercourse and that it will follow its victim until it kills them in a similar vein to Smile.
Likewise, the supernatural entity of It Follows also manifests as normal-seeming people.
“So that Smile movie is just It Follows? Because it looks just like It Follows,” wrote one person on Twitter.
Another added: “Smile is exactly like It Follows, so please don’t waste your money.”
“Smile sucked, go watch It Follows instead,” said someone else.
A fourth person wrote: “Smile = It Follows,” with another writing: “Seen it all before. It Follows. The Ring etc. That said, I very much enjoyed Smile.”
“We felt the same in that it was an It Follows/Ring clone but thought both were significantly better than Smile,” said another viewer. “Enjoyed Smile but not in same tier of the other two imo.”
Someone else disagreed, writing: “Smile had absolutely no right to be as good as it is. Sure, it rips on the narratives of The Ring and It Follows but it manages its own identity through some horrific imagery (that ending?!?!) and a stellar Sosie Bacon. Another horror win for 2022.
Many people also said that the film was a mix of both It Follows and the Japanese horror movie The Ring.
Smile is out in UK and US cinemas now.