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The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

“Smile” is a Halloween must-watch

Smile leaves audiences in sheer horror in Parker Finns feature debut. The film opened on Sept. 30.
Photo courtesy of Flickr
“Smile” leaves audiences in sheer horror in Parker Finn’s feature debut. The film opened on Sept. 30.

Debuting in theaters Sept. 30, “Smile” was written and directed by Parker Finn in his feature debut. Blending elements of gore, painstaking tension and even a few jumpscares, “Smile” is one of the scariest horror films of the year and a must-watch as we roll deeper into October. However, the memorable cinematography, chilling sound design and lively cast are by far the most impressive feat, powering the film towards an 83% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

“[The directors] established a really good, unsettling vibe from the beginning, it made the movie that much more enjoyable,” senior Bella Forgione said.

The story follows Rose Cotter, played by Sosie Bacon (daughter of Kevin Bacon), as she works as a psychiatric doctor. After a traumatizing workplace experience, Rose must navigate her way through twisted horrors that will leave viewers on the edge of their seats. Other notable actors include Amazon Prime’s The Boys star Jessie T. Usher, as well as Kal Penn and Kyle Gallner.

Commercially, the film has met great success for its relatively modest $17 million budget, bringing in $50 million domestically within the first ten days. It charted as the most popular film in American theaters during its opening weekend, comfortably beating out the likes of films such as “The Woman King” as well as the “Avatar” re-release.

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From the start, the film established a sense of dread, building a perpetual knot in my stomach. Opening in a mental hospital, Rose sees various disturbed patients, trying her best to alleviate their mental symptoms.

“It was pretty spooky… most movies you know when the jumpscares are coming but in this one, it happened when you least expected it,” senior Parfait Sewase said.

Part of the film’s success can be attributed to its clever advertising strategy, which went viral on social media. During several Major League Baseball games, paid actors sat behind homebase and would eerily smile into the camera for the entirety of the hours-long match. Spectators quickly picked up on this, posting photos and videos of the seemingly “possessed” fans on Twitter and Instagram. One of these grinning actors wore a T-Shirt with the word “Smile” scrawled over the front, revealing their true promotional intentions and ultimately leading to the movie receiving plenty of buzz before its release.

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Blake Bailey
Blake Bailey, Online Opinion Editor
Blake Bailey is a senior and he is the Online Opinion Editor for the Pitch. He enjoys writing short stories and playing basketball for the WJ team.
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