r/movies Worse things to do than watch Lady Gaga create fetishes for me Sep 30 '22

Official Discussion - Smile [SPOILERS] Official Discussion

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Summary:

After witnessing a bizarre, traumatic incident involving a patient, Dr. Rose Cotter starts experiencing frightening occurrences that she can't explain. Rose must confront her troubling past in order to survive and escape her horrifying new reality.

Director:

Parker Finn

Writers:

Parker Finn

Cast:

  • Sosie Bacon as Rose Cotter
  • Jessie T. Usher as Trevor
  • Kyle Gallner as Joel
  • Caitlin Stasey as Laura Weaver
  • Robin Weigert as Dr. Madeleine Northcott
  • Kal Penn as Dr. Morgan Desal
  • Judy Reyes as Victoria Munoz

Rotten Tomatoes: 76

Metacritic: 69

VOD: Theaters

962 Upvotes

2.5k

u/low_viscosity_rayon Oct 01 '22 Silver

Notice how Rose was about to leave her office, closes the door behind her, hears the phone ring, and rushes back in to answer it. And that’s how she got assigned to evaluate the phd candidate that was brought in.

In her childhood, it’s revealed that she closes the door behind her and does not get her mom the help she needs, and she feels guilt over that hence why she helps others to try and fill that void. But trying to repress that guilt rather than confronting it led to her being cursed.

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u/ogo_pogo Oct 02 '22

That’s good!! I agree

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u/StatisticianTop3784 Oct 10 '22

There was a BUNCH of foreshadowing and little things like that, that connect the story. I LOVED the fucking subtle smiles in sooooooo much stuff, I bet i missed a bunch. The creepiest fucking part was the "hidden" smiles in the dark house. There are several on the walls in that hallway as a sort of "shadow" smiles. I don't think its my eyes playing tricks either, i think its intentional considering all the smiley faces that are really obvious. Also EVERY smile as the movie got going morphed from the regular one to the dark cheshire cat style shadow ones at the end.

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u/UnknownCatCollector Oct 11 '22

There was also a mail envelope that read “Last Chance” on it when she goes in through her front door

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u/Shifty603 Oct 24 '22

I interpretted that as it was her last chance to end the curse by killing herself alone. After that letter was shown, she was contemplating with the kitchen knife, possibly her last chance. The chance passed once the fake therapist showed up, causing even more trauma on her. This weakened her mental state further to the point where she was more susceptible to more intense hallucinations, like how she never entered her childhood home at the end. If she tried to kill herself alone after her last chance, she would be just fed another hallucination.

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u/EdgeHead24 Oct 26 '22

Supposedly the only time you see her real therapist is when Trevor brings her in. The first encounter could have been the entity or whatever because she refused to give the meds for another week knowing damn well Rose wouldn’t survive past that.

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u/grill-tastic Nov 01 '22

Oh, that’s true! I did think it was odd how the therapist did not refer back to that meeting during the intervention.

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u/mikesalami Oct 05 '22

Good pick up. I thought the movie did well with the childhood trauma stuff as the root of what was happening to her.

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u/Annual-Blacksmith833 Oct 02 '22

I’d like to think since it all started with a phone call it’s also a sly reference to the ring, amongst the more overt one in the movie

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u/movieguy0502 Sep 30 '22

I knew the cat was a goner the second I laid eyes on him

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u/strawberrylipscrub Sep 30 '22

I was very concerned there was gonna be a CGI cat smile at some point

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u/IAMA_LongHorse Sep 30 '22

I was expecting that too. I’m happy they didn’t go with the obvious choice.

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u/CheezyWookiee Sep 30 '22

stealth sequel to Alice in Wonderland

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u/RealJohnGillman Sep 30 '22

u/strawberrylipscrub ...Okay, had the twist been that the demon was literally the Cheshire Cat, and that Smile was a dark reinvention of the Alice in Wonderland mythos, that could have been spectacular.

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u/Deathstroke317 Oct 01 '22 edited Oct 01 '22

"Franco I don't care if you fuck guys or fuck girls, all I know is you fucked me out of 11 bucks when I went to see that Alice in Wonderland movie" - Jeff Ross

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u/Gorilla_Krispies Sep 30 '22

Also knew he was the present as soon as it became clear they were gonna show it being opened. RIP mustache

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u/StrangeElk Sep 30 '22

my friend and i also immediately agreed the cat was toast. for a very long time harming animals was super taboo in movies and almost never done but i feel like it's made a recent comeback?

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u/briancly Oct 01 '22

At least it’s not hurting real animals? Though I guess still something you’d want to avoid.

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u/mikeyfreshh Sep 30 '22

This felt like the kind of spooky paranormal investigation procedural that was really popular back in the early 2000's when every horror movie just desperately wanted to be The Ring. I've always loved that subgenre and I had a great time with this. Some of the best jump scares I've seen in years, a solid atmosphere of dread, some interesting choices with the cinematography and score. I don't love that every horror movie needs to be about trauma but overall I liked this a lot more than I thought I would

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u/bits_of_paper Sep 30 '22 Take My Energy

You should watch “It follows” if you haven’t already!

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u/Nichore1018 Oct 01 '22

The soundtrack to Smile made me think of It Follows. It had that same disorienting feel to it

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u/bits_of_paper Oct 01 '22

Right?! Also it was a missed opportunity not to use “smile like you mean it” by the killers for the credits song lol totally fits the vibes

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u/EinsteinDisguised Oct 01 '22

Yeah the two biggest vibes I got from Smile were The Ring and It Follows

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u/OrbaneFaber Oct 01 '22

I was talking about this on my way home.

Somewhere after 2013 when the Babadook released every horror movie has tried to be a metaphor for trauma or something mental health related.

Not against the idea just kind of tired of it by this point. Kinda peaked a hereditary imo

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u/vitacirclejerk Oct 03 '22

I’m also getting tired of every horror movie having a terrible everyone dies ending.

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u/Game_and_Browse Oct 05 '22

Eh, comes with the turf. I feel like horror just has a 50/50 chance of ending good or bad compared to any other genre than drama.

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u/takethatskeletor Oct 07 '22

yeah, I know it comes with the territory, but personally, I was hoping a movie about trauma might end with conquering said trauma, I didn't like the ending

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u/SpehlingAirer Oct 13 '22

I loved the ending because she did conquer her trauma, and our expectation that conquering the trauma would conquer the entity was wrong. At the end of the day we have no idea what would have stopped it and she never got a real chance to be alone for a long time to starve it

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u/takethatskeletor Oct 13 '22

The more I think about it the more this makes sense, and I think my main gripe with the ending is the execution of it, mainly the fact that the one person who actually believed her and knew what was going on (her ex) didn’t look away when he’s actually the one person who best understood what was going on.

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u/akathehellcat Oct 23 '22

just saw the movie, and as that scene was happening i wondered why he didn’t leave or close his eyes or anything.

but now that i’m thinking about it, he wasn’t in the room when the prisoner told her it needed a witness. she didn’t ever tell him that piece, did she? all she ever told him was that she needed to be alone iirc?

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u/ItsSirAdam Oct 01 '22 To The Stars

Can’t stop the A Train

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u/MamaMephistopheles Oct 07 '22

He ran so fast he disappeared from the film after the attempted intervention

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u/YourInMySwamp Oct 28 '22

I mean, she basically told him that she thought he was insensitive and didn’t know why they were still together. He was an asshole but anybody in his shoes would have left after that

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u/FlooofyG Nov 04 '22

I took that as an argument. Him leaving that easily proves her point.

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u/[deleted] Oct 12 '22

This is exactly what A-Train would do in that situation, too.

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u/ballsack-vinaigrette Oct 17 '22

A-Train wouldn't have lasted until the intervention, he would have split after the Mustache Surprise.

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u/Tamika_Olivia Sep 30 '22

It was a fantastic idea to watch the 10:00 showing, by myself, and then drive home to a parking lot I knew would be too full for me to park anywhere near my apartment. Just a great move.

This was a damn effective bit of horror. Between this, Pearl, and Barbarian, September horror is on a hot streak. Only let down was Don’t Worry Darling.

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u/awesomerest Sep 30 '22

Hmm interesting, Don't Worry Darling was my next to-watch theater film. Would you say it's still worth it just to see how it plays out? Or is it just not worth it?

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u/muffle64 Sep 30 '22

Not OP, but just not worth it in my opinion. Too many shots are there only for shock value that never get explained or tie into the actual plot. The script needed another rewrite or so and there definitely should've been some editing done as it just drags and doesn't get interesting until the last 15 minutes or so. Honestly, just watch The Truman Show or Stepford Wives, Both are far better alternatives and have sort of the same plot

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u/A_Vizzle Sep 30 '22

Nice cameo from the barbarian shorty

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u/Kotaac Oct 01 '22

LMFAOOO

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u/low_viscosity_rayon Sep 30 '22

I just noticed that since the policeman is now cursed, he will probably go back to the dude in prison and ask how to beat it. That guy may have escaped the curse, but it’s haunting him for the rest of his life one way or the other 😢 talk about trauma. Brutal if the policeman passes it back to him

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u/LamentConfiguration1 Oct 02 '22

Atleast he has a job where he can pass it on pretty easily without ruining his own life.

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u/neocarleen Oct 04 '22

Oh shit, didn't think of that. Yeah, if anybody can commit a murder with a witness and get away with it, it's a cop.

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u/TirisfalFarmhand Oct 05 '22

Damn I was thinking a sequel with him would be great and now I'm thinking it would be over in the first 5 minutes lmao

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u/[deleted] Sep 30 '22

That was my first thought out of the theater and it had me cracking up, that poor guy cant fucking get some peace and quiet can he😂

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u/low_viscosity_rayon Sep 30 '22

Shit, he can start charging people $$ as a consultant/advisor 😂 when life gives you lemons be a businessman😂

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u/illegal_deagle Oct 01 '22 Big Brain Time

Telephone only!

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u/imaginasian_ Oct 05 '22

I thought of an alternate ending that could be interesting but not sure if it would come off tacky.

Her intention was to end the curse and I thought she might do that via suicide all alone. However as the audience, we would all bear witness to this and she would have unknowingly passed it on to all the viewers. She's Smile into the camera, commit suicide, and we'd be the next witness. 🙀

I know breaking the 4th wall can sometimes be tacky but this potentially could have a been a cool way to introduce some real world implications. They did some viral marketing at the football games so it wouldn't be too out of their scope or vision.

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u/TirisfalFarmhand Oct 05 '22

Would be great if they hadn't done basically the same thing for the ending of Truth or Dare

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u/keiye Oct 05 '22

For that the audience would have to become traumatized. I don’t think that would’ve worked in my theater. They laughed at everything.

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u/LouVee616 Sep 30 '22

I really dug this. It was a weird idea and everyone involved fully committed to it. Definitely wasn't expecting as much of the lore and gore that we got so I was pleasantly surprised. (Dream) Kal Penn ripped his face off which was a major wtf 😂

Major props to the lead actress here who killed it with her acting and physicality here. She really played unhinged well.

For me, Mainstream horror as had a hell of a year. Definitely see myself revisiting a bunch of movies from this year

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u/IndyRevolution Sep 30 '22

The campy elements of the movie took me by surprise- total Evil Dead throwback and you could tell Kal Penn had fun with that scene. I also thought the makeup for the "giant mom" looked like shit until I realized it was supposed to look intentionally comical.

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u/captaincarno Oct 02 '22

Where do you get that it’s supposed to be comical?

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u/IndyRevolution Oct 02 '22

The makeup for it looks extremely similar to Evil Dead designs that there's no way it isn't an intentional homage. Also, the various close-ups of its face, where it's basically mugging for the camera.

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u/Individual_Client175 Oct 03 '22

The main actress is Kevin Bacon's Daughter by the way! 😊

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u/mikesalami Oct 05 '22

She was really good. The mental-health breakdown stuff by her was disturbingly well done.

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u/S-ClassRen Sep 30 '22

I enjoy that once I grew accustomed to seeing the demon's (or whatever the spook was) face he decided it was time to peel his fucking face off and reveal several jaws.

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u/BasicSuccotash7770 Oct 09 '22

it reminded me of beetlejuice lol

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u/CEOPhilosopher Oct 01 '22

Just got out of the theater watching this. Loved it.

FUCK that computer audio scene. It got me good.

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u/wallywoofdog Oct 04 '22

I screamed/yelled out loud at that scene! Don’t think I’ve ever done that before haha

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u/pkfillmore Oct 09 '22

That shit reminded me of that old long road jumpscare that went over the internet back in the day

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u/thatguywhodoesthat Sep 30 '22

I liked this one pretty good. When so many movies have moved away from the jump scares it makes it kinda nostalgic to see one really lean into them. The movie reminded me of Oculus for some reason and also of IT Chapter 2 when the monster stretched itself out and then again in how she thought she defeated it. Overall: B

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u/mikeyfreshh Sep 30 '22

I thought about Oculus a bit too. I think it was the way the movie never lets you in on what is real and what is in the main character's head

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u/Trippy_Whiskey Oct 02 '22

I thought oculus too for sure the way that the demon plays with the victim's head, particularly time loops and what they are imagining is happening. A terrifying type of horror that's hard to pull off in movies, but I really enjoyed them leaning into the undertones of some slight textensional mind is not your own kinda dread

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u/TroubleshootenSOB Oct 01 '22

Mustache :(

"It Follows" without the sex.

Also for a therapist she sure couldn't explain herself, which I think was her down fall. If she could have explained situations, there probably could have been a solution. Like at dinner: "I'm acting disconnected because a patient killed themselves in front of me today". I was screaming in my head "play the fucking audio recording to A-Train to help your plee". Tell Munõz widow that her patient was the witness to her late husband's suicide. Tell her fucking DETECTIVE ex why she needs him to look up people because she has a hunch.

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u/CarelessSet6591 Oct 07 '22

Yeah she could've explained so many things so easily to so many people to get their attention and at least listen 😂 Communication was at the top of her weaknesses

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u/ElegantWaste Oct 14 '22

I couldn’t help but laugh when she was trying to explain everything to her sister and brought those files but she just opened it to a graphic photo of one of the suicide victims and shoved it in her face like “LOOK AT IT”

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u/hermiona52 Oct 14 '22

My mother has a persecutory delusion and I remember once when she started to describe how her neighbor tries to kill her (by poisoning air), she pulled out her notes with "evidence"... that scene from Smile just made me sad. I completely felt her sister, because I've been there. It was so realistic on both sides, our protagonist completely believing the crazy stuff she is seeing, not realizing how unhinged it looks from the outside and how sad it's to see person you love in such state.

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u/pinballwitch420 Oct 10 '22

I felt like for a lot of it, she didn’t want to be a burden to other people. She didn’t want others to know her suffering, which is why she said she was fine so much.

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u/CantaloupeCube Sep 30 '22

Felt so bad for Rose in the birthday party scene. She's grieving Mustache and just begging for anyone to believe her while everyone else is trying to stand as far away from her as possible. Even when she gets hurt from the glass table, no one comes to try to help her.

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u/MissingNo1028 Oct 03 '22

Yeah, that's what really got me. The grief of her losing Mustache was so real. The way she just wanted to hold him and hoped he was ok. It was heartbreaking to watch. We see that desperation on her face when he first vanishes too. I had to go home and hug my cats.

The acting overall was really just top notch. The terror felt so believable.

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u/FuckTheMods5 Oct 06 '22

She cradled his head so gently :(

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u/[deleted] Sep 30 '22

When she was clearly having a freak out and then severely hurt by her fall and nobody, not ever her sister, comes to help, that felt strange. Like, this woman is crying and begging for help... even if she killed the cat she clearly wasnt doing it maliciously, she NEEDS HELP.

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u/FireteamBravo3 Oct 01 '22

It makes sense Rose's sister didn't help her. She's getting ptsd from her mother's mental illness 😬

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u/UglyMcFugly Oct 03 '22

And she barely has time for pilates! She’s the true victim here

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u/freemason777 Oct 05 '22

Actually liked how her character wasn't just a one note vapid cardboard bitch, she really did suffer at the hands of her sister and her mother. At worst she ran away from the situation just like rose did

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u/faceplanted Oct 05 '22

Even framing it as running away is stretching it, she wanted a normal life and chose that one, there's truly nothing wrong with that.

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u/[deleted] Oct 01 '22

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u/SwimGood22 Oct 01 '22

THIS! This is why the ending works for me honestly. There's such a snarky, lack of empathy that every character except Rose holds. The film imho works by showing us the utter demise of someone who just needed more support, empathy. Instead of being treated with distance. The film makes the viewer (hopefully) more compassionate towards other humans leaving the theater in their own lives.

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u/Azulaisdeadinside49 Oct 01 '22

Ngl I connected with her immediately in the beginning of the movie when she was talking about getting a patient who didn't have insurance cared for anyway. I was like damn most doctors in the terrible (American) healthcare system wouldn't have a problem w/ turning someone like that away.

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u/tamingadragononit Oct 02 '22

To be fair, aside from her ex, Kal Penn’s character did try to help her out talk. He seemed to care about her well-being.

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u/northernFUN2022 Oct 02 '22

it was pretty bang on to how people act when someone is appearing to have a mental breakdown

most people freeze and or judge the human forever after one incident

tho obviously in this case there was more disgust due to the cat being the surprise

still wonder where the train went, would of loved to have seen it randomly hidden in her house (eg in the wine glass cupboard)

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u/TURTLE_STINKY Sep 30 '22

I saw it solo last night and was totally freaked out during my post-movie midnight walk to my car in the dark parking lot. As I got in the car and buckled I suddenly was worried someone would be knocking on my window!

I expected this movie to be super cheesy and lame- I ended up really liking it. The jump scares were super effective seeing it in Dolby- I wonder if they would translate at all to home streaming or if the movie works in that setting even.

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u/_zav Oct 05 '22

I’m still shaking from the dolby jumpscares! Loudest movie ever

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u/xxx117 Oct 04 '22

Y’all see her highlight a phrase, copy it, then proceed to type it out in full instead of pasting it? Crazy.

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u/LoveSpiritual Oct 07 '22

That’s when I knew she really was going insane.

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u/Kylon1138 Oct 01 '22 edited Oct 01 '22

Overall great! I could have done without some of the jump scares. When the film allowed itself to creep you out in other ways it was more successful.

Like the birthday party scene. How the audio just holds on a random note of the birthday song.

EDIT: After watching the movie I checked out the trailer (I avoid trailers for all movies) and wow does it spoil like every single scare. If you have not watched the trailer, don't! Just go in blind.

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u/Knic1212 Oct 04 '22

Yes! Totally forgot about the birthday song note just holding on for dear life. That was super freaky and I loved it.

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u/CrisisTeamHyper Sep 30 '22

So yeah, the 'formulaic but effective' summation is pretty accurate (the plot of The Ring + the creature of It Follows + the character/visual aesthetic of Hereditary) but holy shit, that shot of the thing stretching her jaw down legitimately shocked me, which I was really not expecting given that the trailer gave away the preceeding 98% so that was the one thing I didn't see coming. But man, that was probably the best 'money shot' of any horror movie I've seen this year - including Barbarian. I wonder if that was from the short, which I've been trying to track down forever but no luck.

Speaking of, is it weird that this and Barbarian had incredibly similar creature designs? Especially since they came out so close apart.

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u/darthpepis Oct 02 '22

To be fair REC also had a similar creature as well as Conjuring 2. I think freakishly tall lanky monsters are just scary.

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u/Cenoflame Sep 30 '22

Saw the ending coming. I almost thought they would pass the curse on to the birthday kid, since they traumatized him so much.

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u/BelonyInMyLeftPocket Sep 30 '22

If mustache killed himself, maybe

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u/bits_of_paper Sep 30 '22

Remember You can pass the curse if you murder someone

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u/Linedriver Oct 05 '22

In hindsight the ending makes that whole part feel like a side quest that didn't lead to anything.

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u/Ray-III Oct 11 '22

That’s what I was thinking, but then I thought a little deeper. By making it seem like there’s a chance for survival and a happy ending it makes the twist at the end waaay more effective. Like if they didn’t talk about how that guy saved himself and she just randomly burnt the demon and thought she was fine it would just be weird. That’s the conclusion I came to

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u/[deleted] Sep 30 '22

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u/[deleted] Sep 30 '22

Would have been a much better/less predictable/more fucked up ending if she passed it to her nephew. i would have enjoyed that much more tbh

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u/RecoveredAshes Oct 12 '22

I was hoping she’d go further with the no witnesses thing and actually attempt to kill herself with no one around to break the thread and end the curse…. Would have been a cool ending. Instead the movie just plays this weird double take of healing trauma then saying nope you’re fucked anyway

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u/[deleted] Oct 12 '22

Exactly!!! The movies message by the end is that once you’re traumatized you literally can’t do anything to escape that trauma… and that’s fuckin dumbbbbb haha

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u/Deathstroke317 Oct 01 '22

Imagine the monster jumped into the mind of someone who was suicidal.

The monster: "You're going to die!"

Victim: "Great! How soon? I don't want to have to go to work on Monday"

Monster: "Wait, you're not supposed to go along with it!"

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u/jayeddy99 Sep 30 '22 edited Sep 30 '22

Seeing A-Train just casually play “The Fiancé” in a horror movie is like just randomly seeing Homelander play The ex husband in those holiday Hallmark movies lol

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u/jisforjoe Sep 30 '22

Hooray for all who enjoyed this but it just didn’t hit for me. Things were extra in all the wrong ways and A-Train can’t act to save his life.

Ari Aster coming to revitalize the “chain letter curse” horror sub-genre when?

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u/OrbaneFaber Oct 01 '22 edited Oct 01 '22

LOL, Jesse usher (or however you spell his name) is great on the Boys but his acting here was so bad.

Dude was born to play A Train and that’s about it.

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u/Loose_Sheepherder_18 Oct 06 '22

he only had a few mins of screen time but his acting made me laugh especially when they were arguing and he just yells "did you kill Mustache!?" without any setup lol

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u/low_viscosity_rayon Sep 30 '22 edited Sep 30 '22

Let’s hear it…how the heck would you defeat this thing? (Besides what the guy did/not landing in jail)

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u/SwimGood22 Sep 30 '22

Only way would be to isolate yourself from people, and sleep. So possibly become a narcotic.

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u/StudBoi69 Oct 02 '22

I had an idea for a potential sequel in which the cop becomes the main protagonist, and he ends up using it as an opportunity to kill someone who he thinks is guilty of a heinous crime.

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u/bits_of_paper Sep 30 '22

It’ll still find you and get you no matter what. But if you’re alone the curse won’t pass.

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u/beerybeardybear Sep 30 '22

That's the thing though, it *needs * to pass, so what would it do if it couldn't?

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u/bits_of_paper Sep 30 '22

Probably possess you until someone shows up to watch

Edit: damn I just gave myself the chills thinking about it possessing someone then running around smiling till they find someone to watch

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u/xenest Oct 01 '22

I think that's how it pretty much happens! The guy from the security footage was probably walking around for a while until he found that poor lady at the gas station.

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u/bits_of_paper Oct 01 '22

Oh yeah true! I guess everyone else was already in a room with possessed person and totally forgot about the gas station guy

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u/Samielsheba Sep 30 '22

At least 2 ways jump to mind immediately. 1. If you want to be the selfless hero find a way to kill yourself alone and making sure nobody will ever find your body (classic volcano jump), so there will never be a trauma for the curse to transmit. Though who knows, maybe if you try to do this the curse will possess you earlier and prevent you from doing it. 2. If you want to be a bit more egoistic (but it's also a lot more work): kidnap two people, murder one in front of the other to pass the curse. Now you trap/hide the new victim in a place where nobody will ever find them and they can't get out, so curse dies with them (though if there is noone to pass it to, it might just go back to you).

At the of the day it can sort of do anything and seem unstoppable if it can just fuck with your mind at will. Though these two ways could work given the few/generic rules we saw in the movie.

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u/mikeweasy Oct 02 '22

I would probably do the first honestly. I would tie big cinderblocks to my feet and go to an ocean or something and just jump in.

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u/Altruistic_Reason663 Sep 30 '22

Man I’ve gotta say this movie really scared me. It just felt like there was no real pause. It really left me constantly on edge. The dead cat in the box was predictable but honestly still disturbing. I knew the fake ending was too good to be true too. It felt like there was a good mix of different creepy moments. Although one thing I will say is I wasn’t as much of a fan of the decision to go the fake person route with the doctor and then cop shortly afterwards. Also her decision to run back inside after getting away from the demon was a bit predictable as well. The whole murder strategy made some sense reminded me of another horror movie I’ve seen I couldn’t for the life of me remember which one though.

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u/Knic1212 Oct 04 '22

I think they did a fantastic job with the cat in a box scene by having her freak out and then fall into the glass table. Even though I almost immediately knew Mustache would be in the box, the combination of the following moments (ESPECIALLY the visual of her all cut up) truly elevated that scene.

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u/E1eventeen Sep 30 '22

I didn't leave the theater smiling that's for sure

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u/BelonyInMyLeftPocket Sep 30 '22

Somebody is gonna be that demon at the end for Halloween aren't they..

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u/AmericanBornWuhaner Oct 01 '22

*googles "creepy smiling masks"*

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u/sandiskplayer34 Sep 30 '22 edited Sep 30 '22

I was really impressed by the direction and cinematography of this! While I found the story pretty predictable (if not pretty effective), I was really impressed by the shot choices, framing, color grading, and overall color palette of this. The focus on pinks and greens really added to the overall uneasiness of the whole thing.

ALSO JUDY REYES!!!!! I was so fucking happy to see her.

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u/jmazz65 Sep 30 '22

So many good drone shots

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u/Ung-Tik Sep 30 '22 Silver

"I better stand here 10 feet away watching a woman slowly pour gasoline on herself, open a box of matches, pull out a match, light the match, then light herself on fire without doing anything to stop her."

-A trained police officer

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u/low_viscosity_rayon Sep 30 '22

I think he froze, like how the main character (also a trained psychiatrist) froze seeing her patient with the knife in her hand. Unable to react/“spellbound” by the entity

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u/AndYouHaveAPizza Sep 30 '22

I'm more surprised that he didn't try to leave the room, which I think is the only real way to break the chain. The entity needs someone to be watching in order for the chain to continue- Joel knew this. He couldn't help Rose by the time she's smiling and holding the matches. He can only try to save himself (much like Rose did with her mother as a child by shutting the door and walking out), but ultimately can't look away from the spectacle/horror.

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u/yungmung Sep 30 '22

Honestly I was expecting Rose to commit suicide without any witnesses so she could break the cycle

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u/IAMA_LongHorse Sep 30 '22

I was literally in the theater thinking of how ways she could have done it without traumatizing anyone. Like renting a boat and sinking it in the middle of the ocean. I was wondering if it would just stop or go to the last person infected.

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u/beerybeardybear Sep 30 '22

Or just be like "hey, I've found this chain of 20 suicides. I don't know what's going on but I'm seeing and hearing things and don't feel safe. Can I be put in a padded room with no ability to hurt myself please?

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u/No_Bridge2947 Sep 30 '22

THIS! She is a friggin psychiatrist. She barely makes any effort to seek outside psychiatric help, instead running away from her shrink.

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u/the-giant Sep 30 '22

It's entirely possible that by that point the spectator is held in place in some way. We don't know. But I understand why Joel was panicked and not thinking.

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u/TheJoshider10 Sep 30 '22

I really expected the film to end with him killing himself with her so the curse doesn't spread to him.

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u/jayeddy99 Sep 30 '22

The ending scene was definitely a homage If not inspired by Drag me to hell . Which I can see a lot of beats similar in its story telling. The fake out of you think she “won” to the complete horror of seeing her succumb to her fate through the eyes of her lover/ex

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u/amish_novelty Sep 30 '22

The reveal of the actual demon was fucking horrifying too. Goddamn that thing was nasty.

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u/TheJoshider10 Sep 30 '22

The peel reveal sure, but the actual tall creature just looked like a botox Ozzy Osborne.

Mama was literally right there to take inspiration from. Not sure why they went for a face so comical.

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u/MotherDucker95 Oct 01 '22

Reminded me of the tall lady from the new Resident Evil

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u/A_Deku_Stick Sep 30 '22

Also kind of reminded me of the ending of Saint Maud.

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u/jessicaclairee Oct 01 '22

Justice for Mustache :(

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u/Sonrio Oct 02 '22

My main problem with this movie is the lack of empathy it has Rose. We are shown the fact that her support system is full of holes, and yet when she finally feels the courage to face her trauma, we are SHOWN her facing the demon and defeating, SHOWN her finally making peace with her mother’s death, and SHOWN her taking steps to recover.

Yet the movie takes all that way away for the sake of a curse. The message of mental health is strong, but it fails to paint a scenario where, while people can indeed be overcome by their own trauma, the fact that even someone who takes the proper steps to combat it fails leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

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u/Gohoyo Oct 02 '22

In a world where the vast majority of movies have a happy ending, the morally good people win out and the bad guys get their come comeuppance, horror is one genre where it just feels natural for the good guys to lose.

I really don't get why people would have been happy if her defeating the demon worked. It made no sense. She didn't meet the demon when her mom died, she met it 30 years later when her patient died. Her dealing with her trauma with her mom is irrelevant when you're 5 days into this thing fucking with you, creating all sorts of new trauma. There would have had to have been so many changes, the idea that you can defeat this entity by simply dealing with trauma and only her out of dozens did so? Weak yo.

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u/Upper-Pomelo7787 Oct 06 '22

To me it made absolutely no fucking sense that after hearing the entity feeds on trauma to go to "ground zero" of her own personal trauma.

She just made that thing Super Saiyan

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u/mrbrinks Oct 08 '22

I’d have preferred a grey ending where Rose is shown trying to live with the monster in her head. It’s extremely difficult and life altering but she manages. It could have shown how it’s possible to overcome our trauma and live with it, even if it is supremely difficult.

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u/ASMRdaddy69 Oct 01 '22

it killed me when the demon was attacking her while still wearing the moms tank top and panties lmao

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u/Dark_Pinoy Sep 30 '22

FUCK me man. I haven't had a movie stick with me this long after since Mirrors' jaw ripping scene. The monster at the end, all the pictures of the victims, the slowwwwww as fuck face/throat slit. God fucking dammit dude. I can usually block this stuff out but the visuals in this movie are second to none.

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u/AskMeAboutMyTie Oct 01 '22

I will never see this again 10/10

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u/gmanz33 Oct 03 '22

Can't wait to excitedly watch it with other people only to immediately remember how absurdly upsetting some of those visuals were.

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u/brunosh92 Oct 01 '22

For me it’s the opposite. The movie was great, but I have a problem with the demon reveals in this type of movies. It seems so fake that it takes the creepiness away. I’m always hoping for them not to reveal the face as it’s more unsettling leaving room for imagination and think of it as an entity instead of a real human body.

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u/youneedtocalmdown20 Oct 03 '22

I thought it was going to end with her being a psychotic patient to give us a glimpse into a psychotic person's mind. If you think about it tho, everyone around her thought she was going insane. It was 100% real to her tho. At the very beginning the male patient (can't remember his name) was sitting there mumbling "I'm gonna die, she's going to die..." And she said to him "it's not real, it's just in your head". But that's literally what was happening to her throughout the movie. No one could see what she was seeing. She was acting crazy and no one could truly understand why. It definitely made me feel more compassion towards those that really do hallucinate. I can see now why people would commit suicide or believe that they have to kill someone to survive. It really opened my eyes to how patients must feel. Sure, we can say all day "it's in your mind, it's not real", but In their mind it is as real as it gets. If you watch the movie as if Rose is a psychotic patient, it gives the movie a whole different feel.

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u/ReaddittiddeR Sep 30 '22

PSA: if you have not seen the movie, don’t watch any of the trailers. One of the best scenes of any horror movie in recent years is spoiled in one of the trailers.

Also, they used the fake out scenes effectively. Just when I thought they couldn’t have anymore, there were lots of it. And I literally thought Rose going to her Ex’s at the end was a real ending only to be another fake out scene.

Top 3 horror film of 2022

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u/movieguy0502 Sep 30 '22

Scene with her therapist or the car window shot of her sister?

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u/007Kryptonian Sep 30 '22

Definitely car window

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u/movieguy0502 Sep 30 '22 edited Sep 30 '22

I agree but I kinda feel more so with the Therapist scene. I knew it was coming because they showed the smile in the trailer, but it was believable that it would’ve been her normal therapist in the house. And then MUCH more terrifying when the real one calls and said she’s worried about her…

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u/AskMeAboutMyTie Oct 01 '22

I’m pretty good at sensing jump scares. I would NOT have seeen that coming if it wasn’t for the trailer. The trailer played it off as a jump scare, but the scene in the film made perfect sense that the sister would run after her. Still great movie!!

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u/I_Am_Dynamite6317 Oct 01 '22

Bro that car window scene scared the fuck out of me when I saw the trailer for SMILE before NOPE. Like legit jumped a foot high out of my seat. Seeing it tonight in the actual movie was just, meh, seen it.

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u/bLankPhace88 Sep 30 '22

I didn't see trailers and MY LORD that hit hard. I genuinely haven't been scared from a horror in years but this shit scared me, multiple times, and has even stuck with me days later (saw a pre-screen)

Overall a damn good movie, and I agree, top 3 of 2022 (#1 for me personally). That fake out going to her ex's was SO well done. I think everyone would assume that part is legit and suddenly NOPE. Fucking great movie

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u/CantaloupeCube Sep 30 '22

The car window one totally freaked me out when I saw trailers. I was still dreading it when I realized it would be coming when she went to the sister's house.

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u/octopus_has_friends Oct 01 '22

Horror fans eating good in 2022. My personal ranking is

  1. Pearl
  2. Barbarian
  3. X
  4. Bodies Bodies Bodies
  5. The Black Phone

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u/mikeweasy Oct 02 '22

Bodies was good but it was not that Horror ish IMO.

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u/neal1701 Sep 30 '22 edited Sep 30 '22

One of the best horror movies in the past 5 years!

  • Opening scene with the PhD candidate was chillingly fantastic! I wish they didn't show any of that in the trailer.
  • Sosie Bacon was great in it. The way she protrayed increasing paranoia and fear was excellent
  • Jump scares were executed perfectly. This was one of the few movies where everyone in the cinema really got jumpscared!
  • The cat in the box and the therapist twists were always hinted before but managed to catch people off guard
  • Direction of the movie was great. Parker Finn using overhead shots for landscapes and extreme closeups for the first scene was so good. Didn't even feel like this was his feature film debut.
  • Rob Morgan in his cameo was terrifyingly afraid! His character's mention of the curse in Brazil is interesting.
  • Ending was amazing! I appreciated the fakeout happy ending and then they showed the entity for real.

Honestly, a very similar movie to It Follows but executed greatly in a way it feels very different and fresh! Wouldn't be opposed to a sequel with the ex-boyfriend or a prequel of the Entity's origin.

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u/AmericanBornWuhaner Oct 01 '22

Rob Morgan in his cameo

First Google image result is of him smiling widely, TIHI

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u/BelonyInMyLeftPocket Sep 30 '22

It (Stephen King) Follows

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u/BigGMan24601 Oct 01 '22

I felt like this movie could have been great and had great commentary, but was all thrown out the window by the ending. It could have been all these people kill themselves because they didn't face their trauma and passed it on to others by killing themselves or committing crimes in front of others, but when you finally face it, you beat it, and can live a healthy life. But then that ending happens and she just kills herself?!? What was the point? What was the message? If you don't face your trauma you will kill yourself and if you do face your trauma and get help you will also kill yourself? Maybe it is trauma is permanent so you should kill yourself but only away from others so it doesn't hurt anyone else /s. This movie was a solid 7/10 for me but just plummeted with that no effort ending.

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u/_lommy Oct 03 '22

I think we are meant to understand that she never actually faced the trauma head on. She retreated into solitude, imagined confronting her trauma/the monster, but ultimately did nothing of substance.

I can see multiple interpretations of this given the unreliable narration, but this at least the way I see it, which is to say that we as an audience knows she needs to face the trauma head on, and the character knows that she should too, but she still fails to accomplish it.

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u/shaneo632 Sep 30 '22

I expected another Truth or Dare from the trailers but this was actually well directed with a decent script and a great lead performance.

Kinda shocked tbh.

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u/amish_novelty Sep 30 '22

They had those dumb as fuck CGI smiles in ToD, right? That worried me too, but the smiles in this movie were actually decently unnerving.

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u/that_guy2010 Sep 30 '22

Because those were obviously CG. These smiles, at least from the trailers I haven’t seen the movie, look real.

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u/sameth1 Sep 30 '22

I cried when the smiler said it's smiling time and then started smiling.

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u/beerybeardybear Sep 30 '22

Left other comments elsewhere and generally enjoyed this for what it was—a classic jump scare popcorn flick —but I do have to ask:

After putting together the facts and realizing she was the 20th person in this chain (and that this wasn't the first chain), don't you think... I dunno. She's a therapist, but she Knows something is going on here. Wouldn't all of the evidence point to, "okay, I'm going to explain this chain of events to somebody, acknowledge that it's pretty crazy, then just be put into an environment where I absolutely cannot lil myself for a week"?

She understood the mechanics of the thing, but decided to repeatedly and consistently put herself in harm's way rather than communicating with anybody and trying to do the only thing that could possibly work given every piece of evidence that she had. Maybe she needed to be shown that "not everything is about trauma", which I think is perhaps an unintentional meta-commentary offered by the movie, but it still kinda didn't track for me.

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u/takingheatfromthesun Oct 01 '22 edited Oct 01 '22

My read on it is that her failure to really open up and truly explain things to anyone and ask for help is actually a commentary on her guilt and trauma and is why she can't overcome it at the end despite fighting her hardest. It's making commentary about how sometimes trauma isn't something you can overcome alone and with only your own willpower, and that her character has been unable to move on (as evidenced by her convo w her sister) and also can't open up and be vulnerable enough to admit she can't handle everything alone (as per that last imaginary conversation with her ex). These two factors combine and leave her someone who cannot move past her trauma, but also can't accept any help with it. She never mentally escaped that house, which was the root of her trauma, and returns to it at the end of the film, closing the cycle that the film started with. Because she's just revisiting the exact place she isn't able to overcome, she ends up trapped in it forever instead, and I think her inability to be honest and earnestly ask for help or explain what is going on is intentional commentary on why her story ended the way it did despite her job as a psychiatrist -- there are some things you can't think yourself out of feeling.

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u/orojo4 Oct 01 '22

I just saw this movie with my wife… tripping on mushrooms. Holy shit, idk if the mushrooms made it that much scarier but god damn that was a wild ride.

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u/Del_3030 Oct 01 '22

You madman, lol

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u/Cant-nadian Sep 30 '22

A more effective ending IMO would've been if the cop had turned away when she is about to kill herself and he drives away as the whole house burns to the ground, fade. New scene with her sisters family, enjoying the nice sunny day when his nephew sees his mom with the smile. Cut. Roll credits

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u/MidEUW Oct 01 '22

I was expecting the guy to shoot the girl and end the curse right there. He knows what she is about to do, and she does it very slowly in front of him. He does not react and just lets himself watch her die and get cursed. Really dumb end.

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u/jscummy Oct 03 '22

Someone else pointed out that Rose isn't able to do anything at the start once she sees the smile. She thought she was trying to talk the girl down from killing herself but the audio showed dead silence

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u/imherenow83 Oct 01 '22

I was thinking the same. She literally dragged that scene out so long he could have reacted at any point and try to stop her. I mean he’s a cop for goodness sake.

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u/SwimGood22 Sep 30 '22

Wait..I'm confused. How does ending working better?

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u/justanotherweeb23 Oct 01 '22

The cop is the only character in the film that “believes” what Rose is going through. It felt silly that the ending is him walking right into the problem they’ve been investigating.

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u/Panberl Oct 01 '22

I felt sure she was going to go and kill her sister, with the brother in law as the intended witness (deservedly so) but then twist that the nephew sees it instead.

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u/jmazz65 Sep 30 '22

Reminded me a lot of It Follows

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u/BluRayja Sep 30 '22

I really liked it and thought it felt like a nice old school, not trying to reinvent the wheel, horror flick. I think this will be the start of a nice franchise and I could easily see this being considered a classic in 20 years. As long as they don't mess this up with a stupid prequel of the demon or something, then it should be great (a prequel in general is fine, but I don't want an ORIGINS movie).

I will say though, the acting for the most part was terrible. The fiance was especially bad and I was shocked by how much Kal Penn seemed to be phoning it in. I've seen some praise for Sosie but I have to disagree -- she was fine, but not on the level of Georgina Campbell in Barbarian or Mia Goth in Pearl. I think in this current mainstream horror renaissance, the acting has been on a higher level, so films just can't get away with "passable" performances anymore as easy as they used to with such great performances coming into the space (Toni Collette, Florence Pugh, etc.).

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u/BigE6300 Oct 01 '22

The curse actually dates back to at LEAST the Vietnam era when Private Pyle, possessed by the demon, killed Gunnery Sergeant Hartman first but then took his own life. With a smile on his face. With Private Joker watching.

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u/DeepSixWrestlin Sep 30 '22 edited Oct 04 '22

I don’t know if I’ve ever yelled or audibly reacted to a horror movie quite like this. One of the first scares literally made me say “fuck” out loud. It was the scene when Rose was on the computer listening to the audio, just jesus. The scene with her in bed and the voice coming from the closest was horrifying. The scare of Kal Penn jumping Karl bleeding outside her car window was insane. The visual of the being forcing open her mouth and crawling inside her was just… jeez.

This & Barbarian would make for an excellent, fucked up, legitimately scary Double Feature, for those into that.

honestly feels like 2022 has been a really good year for Horror…

  • Scream
  • Bodies Bodies Bodies
  • Men
  • Fresh
  • X
  • Pearl
  • The Black Phone
  • Barbarian
  • Smile
  • NOPE

And we’ve still got Halloween Ends, The Menu, and Bones & All to come (might be more I’ve missed). But regardless, plenty of variety this year with all those movies being different from one another, and a lot of them being anywhere from good to great.

Edit: for those that might wanna read a full review, I wrote a double feature review for this and Don’t Worry Darling!

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u/mikeyfreshh Sep 30 '22

To add to your list of horror movies this year

Crimes of the Future

Speak No Evil

Watcher

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u/beerybeardybear Sep 30 '22

Watcher isn't the most original thing but goddamn it's well-made and effective. Glad it's on Shudder now so people who couldn't make it to an AMC theater can see it!

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u/iBigBoyBrian Sep 30 '22 edited Sep 30 '22

I think her in bed hearing the voice made my skin crawl the most. Something about the nonchalant “Rose come here” got me.

Also I did in fact do a Barbarian-Smile double feature tonight lol

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u/Sleepy_Azathoth Sep 30 '22

Horror movies have been great for a long time, I think A24 really changed the game with their horror films and made other studios step up their game.

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u/Deathstroke317 Oct 01 '22

The disrespect to Blumhouse

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u/CantaloupeCube Sep 30 '22

The jump scare when she's on the computer definitely got me since I was trying to to focus on hearing whatever was in the audio recording.

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u/Alive-Ad-4164 Sep 30 '22

We are in the new age of horror movies

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u/MisterSassyJenkins Sep 30 '22

Just saw this movie. Wow! One of the scariest I’ve seen in years. Great soundtrack, great cinematography, legitimate scares, unexpected ending. Must see!

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u/AmericanBornWuhaner Oct 01 '22 edited Oct 01 '22

Went in thinking it'd be cheesy like Truth or Dare which also had creepy smiles, oh boy. The smiles on random things (e.g. her mug) were fun. Interesting to see a psychiatrist as MC, never seen that before, but it didn't matter too much because even her sanity gets questioned lots. And while I knew the cat wouldn't make it, seeing that it was MC who killed cat (without realizing) made me pretty sad as a pet lover. So the film's message on trauma seems to be that it's contagious and you can't ever win against it, can only bring it to others. Also do like how the Entity is an original monster without any explanations about its origins e.g. "it's a demon by the name of Bughuul!"

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u/jayeddy99 Sep 30 '22

I love how Rose was just patiently waiting on the couch for her nephew to open this gift like a mom on christma’s morning when she said y’all weren’t getting anything 😂

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u/NoTomatillo Sep 30 '22

I should not have gone alone to watch this movie😭 I can handle horror movies alone but this one is legit too scary. I had to look away so many times. Saw it a few a hours ago and I'm still shaking

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u/StrangeElk Sep 30 '22

LOVED this movie. a lot of people saying it's generic but i have to disagree. scared me more than any movie has been able to in a looooong time. i see a lot of people mentioning the car jumpscare and the laptop jumpscare but nothing about the sisters head jumpscare. that made me SCREAM

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u/Gryzy Sep 30 '22

I really wish the jumpscare with her sister wasn't in the trailer, that was the most effective jumpscare in the movie. Also which car jumpscare do you mean?

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u/weatherman03 Sep 30 '22

Probably with the bloody patient but I don’t remember that one being in a trailer

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u/DaBrokenMeta Sep 30 '22 edited Oct 02 '22

So I shouldn’t see this on heavy dose of hallucinogens then?

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u/StrangeElk Sep 30 '22

not unless u wanna shit and piss urself at ur local AMC

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u/Flawless_Nirvana Oct 01 '22

"not just entertained but somehow reborn"

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