Clearly, Halloween is very much in the past as we have moved on into the later months (and even holidays) of the year. However, for longtime horror lovers like myself… spooky season continues to live on and is still very much thriving within our hearts. So if you fall into that category and have found yourself with a little extra holiday free time on your hands or might be looking to fill that wicked void with something fresh (hell, even just a recent revisit to share with your loved ones), here's why Smile, the surprise $200 million box office hit, is the perfect horror film to check out exclusively on Paramount+.
Consistent Use of Tension
In Smile, the earliest moments of the horror film are inclined to throw some very heightened emotions our way, which quite literally wastes no time getting into the grittier strength of horror genre plot components. Once you know what you're getting yourself into after the first official death, the film has the potential (and reputation from moviegoers so far) to chill its viewers with a Cheshire-esque wicked grin that drives the rest of the film. And for some less courageous thrillseekers, the rest of your unsettled day.
Where some modern horror films can occasionally fall into tropes that make a lose its luster by the final act, Smile recognizes that its scares need to be maintained throughout – and in this instance, doesn't disappoint by keeping its foe just ambiguous enough to leave you feeling uneasy. If you're looking for tension and the unending dread that comes with it, then look no further!
Several Necessary Jump Scares
Sorry to the vocal brand of horror fans and critics who scoff at jump scare inclusions because, truth be told, they're a vital part of average non-genre fans' investment in the genre. Plus, they are flat-out entertaining when done correctly and honestly… I'm not interested in the anti-jump scare sentiment. With that in mind, as you've likely seen by the trailer for Smile, there are lots of creepy hair-raising tidbits to expect and even more that you won't see coming!
What makes the jump scares particularly useful in Smile is that they aren't just strictly throw-away moments for the audience either – these are real horror-themed parts of the movie that put the characters in the most fragile state possible. By the time the ending finally arrives, you can't help but feel sympathetic for anyone affected by the entity because your own spooky sensitivity to it is turned up to a 10, too.
After watching Sosie Bacon's performance in the film, I think it's safe to say that if she chooses to continue with the horror genre, she could become a total scream queen. In one of the emotionally compelling genre performances of the year, viewers cannot help but pick up on every second of terror and fear that she brings to her well-conducted character, which is undoubtedly one of the film's best assets.
Having briefly dipped into the genre during the first season of MTV's Scream several years prior, Bacon's recent leading role in the original horror flick flexes every impressive acting muscle she has – and in doing so, creates a truly tragic heroine with tangible turmoil underway.
There's also the fact that every once in a while, there is a film where an actor really makes the role into their own, and in this instance, Bacon was the only necessary choice for a role that required a lot of heavy lifting.
Smile is available now on Paramount+.