As pretty much any horror genre geek could tell you, horror movies don’t exactly have to be the most original thing to be effective, or to turn a profit. Horror is a “greatest hits” genre—if you simply present the old, familiar elements with enough style, it doesn’t matter if it’s all stuff we’ve seen before. People want to be spooked; they want to react with shock to a big reveal or a jump scare. And Smile seems to know this.
The mysterious little horror film, the feature film directorial debut of Parker Finn, is headed to theaters on Sept. 30, 2022, and released its first trailer today, giving a bit better idea of its admittedly elemental premise. The film stars Sosie Bacon, the daughter of Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick, as a therapist whose world is upended by a single crooked smile, and the creeping horror that follows. Or as the synopsis puts it:
After witnessing a bizarre, traumatic incident involving a patient, Dr. Rose Cotter (Sosie Bacon) starts experiencing frightening occurrences that she can’t explain. As an overwhelming terror begins taking over her life, Rose must confront her troubling past in order to survive and escape her horrifying new reality.
The trailer below has definite vibes of something like The Ring, using a ticking clock as the protagonist draws closer to their seemingly unavoidable fate—there’s even a similar tagline: “Once you see it, it’s too late.” At the same time, there are twists of say, Drag Me to Hell or It Follows present as well. There’s also something of a feel of the more recent genre of uninspiring creepypasta-based low-budget adaptations, but hopefully Smile can rise above. Bacon, meanwhile, has been acting since 2005’s Loverboy which was directed by her father Kevin Bacon, but broke out in Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why and MTV’s Scream. More recently, she appeared opposite Kate Winslet in Mare of Easttown.
Check out the first Smile trailer below. The film lands in theaters just in time for the Halloween season, on Sept. 30, 2022.