Not the happy kind of smile


credits: New York Post

Cheers fill the stadium as baseballs whirl through the air. Players run around the bases and dust flies, and the smell of popcorn puts smiles on many fans’ faces; however, one smile in particular catches many eyes. The creepy look sends chills through onlookers’ spines as it brings their attention to the smiler’s bright yellow shirt, ultimately revealing the reason behind the scary stare: the word “Smile” is written across the fabric.  

Actors promoting the new horror movie “Smile” showed up to various Major League Baseball games flashing scary grins. They caught attention sitting behind home plate, not moving, and keeping the look on their faces. It was chilling to the point where many fans were sharing pictures and videos online, making the stunt go viral. The smilers revealed later that their unsettling looks were actually part of a marketing campaign for “Smile,” which premiered on Sept. 30.  

“I have got to say, Paramount marketing has been very clever with some of the tricks they have had up their sleeves for this film. This is something that had been discussed a little while back, and we were all kind of like crossing our fingers that somebody might notice,” Parker Finn, the “Smile” filmmaker, said in an article. 

The film follows a therapist who witnesses a traumatic incident with one of her patients, leading to bizarre experiences in her own life that she cannot explain. Movie watchers feel the fear of the therapist’s new terrifying reality in which people flaunting scary smiles fill her hallucinations.  

“I have not seen the movie, but I know people who have, and they have said it was really scary. It seems interesting, but I do not like scary movies,” Mipo Thomas, junior, said.  

The well-thought-out marketing moves and quality of the film itself seems to have paid off, as the movie passed the $100M mark globally under two weeks after its release. “Smile” now has the best second weekend hold on a non-holiday weekend as a wide release during the pandemic. The R-rated movie scored an impressive 78 on Rotten Tomatoes’s Tomatometer. 

“The movie was overall really good and had tons of jump scares. The actors nailed the smile and made it creepy. It was a smart idea for the writers to have their actors go to different sporting events and act like they are in the movie because it gives the audience a new perspective,” Emilee Skains, sophomore, said.  

Although the month for horror has ended, one can still head to a theater nearby to watch the movie whose marketing stunts were just as scary good as the film itself.