Smile is the new horror gimmick where smiles are deadly. It's a fun film with loads of terrifying jump scares, but it misses the mark towards the end of the film for various reasons. Still, it's a great addition to the genre, and movie buffs will appreciate it. The new 4K picture with Dolby Vision looks great and the Dolby Atmos track sounds amazing. The bonus features have some fun and give some insight into the making of the movie. Recommended.
Horror films typically rely on some sort of gimmick to stick their underlying tone and message through the usual tropes of horror. This can range from evil spirits, zombies, aliens, possession, evil monkeys, and even dark rooms. Filmmaker Parker Finn's first feature film enlists the gimmick of "smiling" as the creepy force of nature in his new horror movie Smile starring Sosie Bacon (daughter of Kyra Sedgwick and Kevin Bacon). Taking its cues from a few other iconic horror films, Smile makes some room with some great jump scares and a theme that tackles personal trauma. Unfortunately, Smile falls off the fence post in its final act into a jumbled mess, despite some truly great practical effects and monsters.
Vital Disc Stats: The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray
Smile grimaces its way to 4K + Digital Code via Paramount. There is no Blu-ray Disc here. The disc is housed inside a hard, black plastic case with a cardboard sleeve. There is an insert for a digital code. The artwork features that iconic, creepy smile with the title across the center.
Smile delivers a wonderful looking 2160p UHD 4K image with Dolby Vision that keeps the haunting atmosphere in tip-top shape.
The color palette has a somewhat muted tone that has its visuals look like they're decaying, much like what happens to the characters in the film. Inside the hospital, those faded pastel greens and pinks look fantastic against the beige or white floors and wardrobe. The Dolby Vision upgrades the warmer colors, especially towards the end of the movie with tons of ambers, yellows, and reds. Exterior shots reveal more greens and blues and the blood has a brilliant dark red shade to it. Black levels are inky and rich without any crush or murky shadows. There is never any bleeding which allows Dolby Vision to enhance those other colors in the dark sequences at night time. Skin tones are natural throughout.
The detail is sharp and vivid, always revealing great closeups of individual hairs, facial pores, and practical makeup effects. The gory wounds and distorted bodies look excellent. The major CGI sequence in the climax of the movie looks a little janky but overall has a clear and exquisite look, even if some of the fire looks fake. There are no instances of banding or aliasing, but there is some slight video noise that can be heavy at times.
This release comes with a brilliant Dolby Atmos track that brings an immersive and scary rumble to the viewing experience. Sounds effects are spacious and offer up a ton of boisterous levels. Those creepy stare-downs with the eerie smiles bring stunning crescendos to the soundtrack that will always make the hair stand on end. Noises from empty houses or wood that creaks towards the end of the film all make for wonderful sounds. Car engines and people screaming and talking inside offices or houses all sound great from the surround speakers.
Glass breaking or bones being broken also sounds boisterous and nasty in all the right ways. The other score cues and song selections always bring that unsettling tone to the forefront. The low end of the bass brings an exquisite rumble without crossing into rocky territory. And the dialogue is always clean, clear, and easy to follow. There are no audio problems to speak of.
There are about 61 minutes of extras included here that cover deleted scenes, cast and crew interviews, and even the original short film that inspired this feature-length movie.
Smile is a wonderfully scary film that fumbles the ball at the endzone. There are plenty of things to enjoy about Smile with its story, characters, and horror, but it loses its way when it tries to throw everything in the melting pot at once. Still, it's great for jump scares and attention to detail. The 4K transfer with Dolby Vision looks amazing and the Dolby Atmos track sounds wonderful. The extras are worth watching as well. Recommended!