Promo poster for "Smile" | Source: Paramount Pictures
Promo poster for "Smile" | Source: Paramount Pictures

Is 'Smile' Based on a True Story? All We Know about Inspirations behind the Psychological Horror

Milla Sigaba
Sep 14, 2023
01:15 A.M.

If you have ever wondered if "Smile" is a true story, or at least based on one, its director and writer, Parker Finn, has opened up about his supernatural psychological horror film, the other films that inspired it, and its underlying message.


In 2022, Parker Finn made his directorial debut on "Smile," an unnerving horror that takes a psychological toll on its viewers and throws them into the paranormal world.

From its impressive and authentic performances from the cast to its themes of dealing with past trauma and psychological distress, Parker Finn's film — based on one of his short stories — has left many viewers wondering: Is "Smile" based on a true story?

What Is 'Smile' About?

"Smile" follows the story of Dr. Rose Cotter, played by Sosie Bacon, a psychiatrist whose career turns sinister when one of her patients kills herself before Dr. Cotter. Before her death, the patient screams, and her face turns upwards into a disturbing smile.

Stunned by the gruesome scene, Bacon's character's world is turned upside down as everyone is wearing the same creepy smile everywhere she looks. After encountering another patient with the same smile in her psychiatric facility, Dr. Cotter tries to wake the man from a seemingly psychological trance.


Instead, he begins to tell Dr. Cotter she will die and attacks her. Determined to understand what is happening, Bacon's character realizes she must overcome a traumatic experience to escape her petrifying reality.


Is 'Smile' Based on a True Story?

While "Smile" is not based on a true story, during an interview, Finn revealed that it was inspired by his 2020 short film "Laura Hasn't Slept." The writer and director added that while the plot for "Smile" poured out of him, he also had other films such as "Safe," "Cure," and "Rosemary's Baby" on his mind.

According to reports, Finn elaborated that "Smile" was influenced by his desire to move away from most horrors' traditional jumpscare. Instead, he wanted to explore the landscape of the mind of an average person.

The writer and director wanted to tackle the innate human phenomenon of masking your feelings and past while dealing with anxieties, stress, and fears. The premise of "Smile" — co-starring Kal Penn and Judy Reyes — is looking at what it is like when you feel like your mind has turned against you.


The Ending of 'Smile' Explained

Watching her patient die takes a toll on Dr. Cotter's life and relationships, leading her to search for answers. With the help of a few characters, Bacon's character learns that the smile is a curse placed on people with trauma.

For the curse to be passed on, the person under the spell has to kill themselves in front of someone else. After watching her patient's death, the curse was passed on to Dr. Cotter, who had to confront the entity responsible for all this horror.


To do so, Dr. Cotter locks herself in her childhood home, where her past trauma occurred. After seemingly defeating the entity, the audience watches in shock as the movie's ending sees Dr. Cotter kill herself in front of another character, passing on the curse and continuing the horror.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text "help" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741, or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.


news.AmoMama.com does not support or promote any kind of violence, self-harm, or abusive behavior. We raise awareness about these issues to help potential victims seek professional counseling and prevent anyone from getting hurt. news.AmoMama.com speaks out against the above mentioned and news.AmoMama.com advocates for a healthy discussion about the instances of violence, abuse, sexual misconduct, animal cruelty, abuse etc. that benefits the victims. We also encourage everyone to report any crime incident they witness as soon as possible.


The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. Other international suicide helplines can be found at befrienders.org.

Related posts

7 Celebrity Duos Who Are Surprisingly the Same Age but Have Drastic Differences

April 19, 2024

Sarah Jessica Parker Stuns at the Met Gala in Birdcage Dress and Golden Headpiece, Earning Mixed Reactions

May 07, 2024

Patrick Dempsey Left His 54-Year-Old Wife, Soon Tied Knot with His Fan — First Marriage He Initially Kept Secret

January 30, 2024

Sarah Jessica Parker Shows Bra at 59, Princess Kate’s New Portrait Called ‘An Insult,’ & 3 More Trending News This Week

May 24, 2024

Queen Camilla Was Seen with Trembling Hands – Inside Her Health Issues Ranging from Surgery to Broken Leg & Toe

May 04, 2024

Sarah Jessica Parker, 59, Accepts Her Natural Aging Just like Her Mother Taught Her

March 25, 2024

How 'The Best' Directors in Hollywood Would Look Today If They Never Transitioned: 7 Pics via AI

May 14, 2024

6 Inspirational Celebrities over 50 Who Are Not Afraid to Show Off Their Bodies in a Swimsuit

April 10, 2024

Why Did Gypsy Rose Blanchard Have Her Teeth Extracted?

April 05, 2024

People Share 5 Real-Life Experiences That Read like a Horror Movie Script

January 26, 2024

Jennifer Gray Turns 64: Divorce, Cancer & the Car Accident That Affected Her Neck

March 25, 2024

Wife Catches Husband Kissing Her Sister in Bathroom – Story of the Day

March 09, 2024

Tori Spelling & Her 5 Kids Finally Find Their New Home after Living in RV for Months – Report

May 01, 2024

Prince William Shares Rare Update on Kate Middleton in His Solo Appearance

May 01, 2024