Parents' Guide to

Smile

By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Lots of gore and noisy jump scares in disappointing chiller.

Movie R 2022 115 minutes
Smile Movie: Poster

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 23 parent reviews

age 18+

MENTAL HEALTH CONCERNS!

So.. I went and saw this movie with my boyfriend (23yr, 24yr) and cousin (15yr). I have watched scary movies my whole life. Been into scary things in general. I'm the type that likes being scared. This movie was on another level, not because of the heavy gore or cursing but the psychological side of it really made me think about it. The movie contains superb auditory effects which make you anxious, overwhelmed, even disoriented and on the verge of a breakdown yourself without realizing whats happening until its obvious. I believe they wanted you to feel what the character feels throughout the movie. There were also numerous groups walk out of the theater as we watched on. Watching this made me ponder whether I should continue watching scary movies because it made me really think about what I'm allowing inside my mind. It really bothered me more hours after the movie even into the next day as well. I won't ever watch it again. Do not watch it if you're not mentally healthy and or strong minded.
age 17+

Very scary horror

This is an extremely scary, graphic horror movie that should not be taken lightly. I have seen my fair share of horror movies over the years but this one definitely has a different feel to it. It is chilling, unnerving, and very difficult to watch sometimes. It keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire movie. About half the theatre got up and left throughout the movie. The movie focuses on mental health and trauma and it does that very well. Not for the easily rattled, lots of gore and jump-scares. I would not recommend for kids.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (23 ):
Kids say (76 ):

The image of a creepy, sinister smile is so primal and so chilling that it might have inspired something truly penetrating, but, sadly, this horror movie is content to fall back on noisy jump scares. The feature writing and directing debut of Parker Finn, Smile isn't without its spine tingles, but they're few and fleeting as the movie treads through a collection of well-worn clichés. The idea of a curse passed from one person to another has been better used in Final Destination, The Ring, It Follows, and more; when that idea succeeds, it's because the evil force remains a mystery. Here, it's explained and detailed down to the last bit, revealing the monster as a stringy-haired thing (just like in The Ring) that's up to no good. Cheap, cacophonous jump scares accompany its every move.

The typical, frantic race against time to find a way to break the curse is here, too, but the long overnight drive to a prison to speak to the one man who managed to survive is a complete waste of time; nothing is learned that viewers didn't already know. (The movie's bulky 115 minutes could have used some trimming.) It even uses the old upside-down-drone-shot driving footage that was featured in Midsommar and other movies. Most of the heavy lifting in Smile is handed to Bacon, whose descent into madness -- everyone she encounters calls her "crazy" -- is ultimately more wearying than touching. Even the smile itself, used so effectively in the movie's opening sequence, is wasted throughout the rest of it. Smile leaves off with the potential for a sequel, but this entry is already pretty sparse, like a mouth without teeth.

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