This isn’t the time to put a frown on your face yet, as Smile is still scaring its way onto our screens with a featurette showcasing lead actress Sosie Bacon performing behind-the-scenes. Since its theatrical release, the trauma-inducing, Parker Finn-directed horror film has achieved a significant milestone, earning a considerably fair global box office and a 78% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes, as well as a 79% critics’ score. Of course, to create a film that is as terrifying as the trailer suggests, you need a talented cast, crew, and an effective lead actress—and Bacon has yet again proven that she’s a force to be reckoned with in the horror genre, showing off an emotional performance that perfectly embodies a sensible thinker individual falling deeply into madness.
The latest featurette puts emphasis on the actress, demonstrating why she is the best choice for the role. “We were looking for our Rose, and it is basically a character on a downward spiral whose life is becoming more and more nightmarish,” Finn stated. Smile producer Robert Salerno added that the film is not only a horror thriller but also “very traumatic,” adding that it is important to have someone who can encapsulate the film’s whole premise. “In this film, it is a horror, thriller—it is also very traumatic. And so it is important to have somebody who can show that. We need to be sympathetic to this character,” he said, saying that Bacon has been around in the set since her starting days and that growing up with a family in the industry helped her solidify her acting chops.
Previously under the working title Something’s Wrong With Rose, the deadly curse-centered film follows a respectable psychiatrist, Dr. Rose Cotter, who has witnessed an incident involving her patient. She then tried to uncover the reason behind the horrifying deaths and all the enigmatic smiles, which are seemingly caused by a plague that kills people who are infected. The movie resembles The Ring and It Follows by centering on a terrifying curse, delving into the theme of trauma, and using a fair amount of jump scares and other horror techniques.
Bacon rose to fame as Skye Miller in the 2017 Netflix drama series 13 Reasons Why. She also starred in the anthology series based on Wes Craven‘s Scream franchise, Scream: The TV Series. Her other starring roles include Charlie Says, Mare of Easttown, The Last Summer, The Lost Boy, Off Season, and the 2005 romance film Loverboy, in which she starred alongside her mother, Kyra Sedgwick, directed by her father Kevin Bacon.
Besides Bacon, Smile features another established horror actor, Kyle Gallner, best known for his performances in Jennifer’s Body, Haunting in Connecticut, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Scream. Other cast members include Jessie T. Usher, Robin Weigert, Kal Penn, and Rob Morgan.
Smile will be available to stream on Paramount+ on November 15. Check out the latest featurette below.