With Smile coming out, here are five things you need to know about this horror film directed by Parker Finn and directed by Saucy Bacon.
Smile by Parker Finn
With Sauce Bacon, Jesse T Usher, Kyle Gallner…
What is it about? After witnessing a traumatic incident with one of her patients, psychiatrist Rose Cotter’s life takes a turn for the worse. The mysterious Rose confronts her past in an attempt to save…
Short film adaptation
The smile is inspired by the short film Laura didn’t sleep, which was directed by Parker Finn in 2020 and which tells the story of a psychiatrist who is faced with such terrible and inexplicable events after a strange encounter with a patient.
If the subject of the film is in a short film, the director wanted to explore with a smile what would happen if our brain were to contradict itself through nightmare processes. He explains:
“See that fear you feel when you wake up from a nightmare? That sense of panic lingers even though you know it wasn’t real… I wanted a smile to capture that awkwardness on screen.”
Daughter of Kevin Bacon
The film is hosted by Saucy Bacon, who is none other than the daughter of Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick. The public discovered him in the TV series 13 Reasons Why and Mare of Easttown. Parker Finney confides, “The audience is meant to feel an immense sympathy for Rose from the start, and Soussy certainly captures the simplicity of that bond. She brings a dimension of gravity to her acting that is perfectly in line with what we were looking for.”
Instead of relying too much on digital special effects, Parker Finn chose to go as much as possible with the camera. “Visual effects are a great tool, but I grew up with mechanical effects movies, and that was one of the main reasons I got into film,” he says.
As for the sets, Parker Finn and production designer Lester Cohen tried to avoid any symbolism traditionally associated with horror films. One of the main settings is the psychiatric emergency department of the clinic where Rose practices. The two men wanted a place that looked real and an atmospheric color reminiscent of a bureaucratic hell, quite Kafkaesque overall… “The hospital was a reference for us to design the rest of the film,” they elaborate. .
Parker Finn deliberately chose to use the smile as a physical representation of evil because of the emotional content that arises from its inner contradictions: “Smiling evokes something basic in us. A child learns to smile before it learns to speak.”
“I wanted to play with this image and turn it upside down to become a threat of danger and destruction. I wondered if we could use a calming facial expression to create panic in the audience,” explains the director.