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Smile tickles the brain and terrifies without remorse

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Polygon is on the ground at the 2022 Fantastic Fest, reporting on new horror, sci-fi, and action movies making their way to theaters and streaming.

This review was published in conjunction with the film’s Fantastic Fest premiere. Parker Finn’s debut horror movie Smileis carefully calibrated to do different things to different viewers.

To someone who isn’t well versed in horror, it’s an efficient and effective scare-fest, full of big, startling scares and freaky, grinding tension.

But it works entirely differently for a savvy horror crowd who can recognize the ways Finn iterates on other popular horror movies, and predict from the start where the story is bound to go.

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