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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Hawaii chapter.

I know you all have been seeing the rave on the movie Smile that came out this year. For one, a lot of people have been saying that the movie is genuinely really scary and that after watching it, they’ve had a difficult time sleeping. Don’t worry, this is a genuine review.

What is it about?

Smile is a movie about a psychiatrist, Rose, who works in a hospital and tends to mental health patients. One day, she meets with a new patient who seems to be hallucinating and manic. The patient expresses that they’ve been seeing people who aren’t actually there. That there’s an entity who is pretending to be people that she knows and that they all have sinister smiles on their faces.

Of course, Rose does not believe the patient and tells her calmly that sometimes, when you hallucinate, things may feel very real but in reality, they’re not actually there. Out of nowhere, the patient leaps backward out of her chair and exclaims that “it’s” there, telling the entity to go away and asking Rose to help her. 

Rose calls for additional help from other doctors through a phone in the corner of the room and then realizes that the patient has stopped yelling. She turns around to see the patient smiling a sinister smile, and witnesses the patient commit suicide, all while having the same smile on her face.

After this incident happens, Rose notices that she starts to see the same things that her patient told her she was seeing. So much so that it starts to affect her personal relationships.

I won’t spoil the rest of the movie, but let’s just say that the reviews you see on Tik Tok or Instagram are all true.

the review

This movie is genuinely so scary, and that’s coming from someone who loves watching scary movies and has come accustomed to the scary movie formula. I don’t necessarily get scared watching scary movies only because most of them are so predictable.

But not this one.

If you’re also an avid scary movie watcher, you will assume what will happen throughout the movie, and find that your assumption is wrong. I was wrong every single time.

Smile has many jumpscares that will definitely catch you off guard. There were times when I felt like a jumpscare was coming, and then it didn’t happen. There were many times when I didn’t think a jumpscare would happen, and then it did happen.

I would say that the only downfall in this movie was the monsters. Now, this is a little of a spoiler, but I was highly disappointed about how the monster looked. You could tell it wasn’t real, and the monster wasn’t all that scary either.

The other downfall is that the movie’s plot does go by pretty slowly. But, it does benefit the point of the movie and does hold a purpose. The anxiousness of not knowing what is real or not is something that you will feel too throughout the movie, which goes along with how slow the plot unfolds.

The last downfall would be the fact that I’ve seen plenty of movies where there was an evil curse that was passed down to many people and the main character tries to figure out how to not let the curse affect them. What’s different about this movie is that you feel the same anxiousness that Madeline feels.

Even though these downfalls would usually affect a movie’s overall rating, the movie compensates for that through how many jumpscares and how well the jumpscares are.

All in all, what really made this movie was the eerie feeling of seeing all those people with sinister smiles and all the jumpscares. I have never jumped like I’ve jumped watching Smile, and that says a lot for someone who got really sad instead of really scared over the newest Insidious movie that everyone claimed to be cursed.

So yes, Smile is definitely a great movie to watch. Out of 10 scary pumpkins, I give it 8 scary pumpkins. As a movie in general, I give it a 9. I wouldn’t say that this movie would keep you up at night because I was still very much able to sleep well after watching it, but it does do its job of scaring you off your seat and shielding your eyes in the movie theater. Go ahead and give it a watch, it’s worth it!

Jessa Tadeo

Hawaii '24

Howzit! I'm Jessa, a self-proclaimed music enthusiast, born and raised on O'ahu. I'm in my third year majoring in Social Work and I love to go on way too many coffee runs.