Is Smile (2022) Based on a True Story?

Naturally, fans are eager to know about the inspiration behind the movie ‘Smile’ if they are wondering what is found here, taking real-life events as inspiration. The story fills the audience with a sense of sympathy for the protagonist, while also creating a sense of fear as the events unfold. The movie keeps viewers on the edge of their seats with its gripping storyline, starring Sosie Bacon as Usher T. Jessie.

Instead, ‘Smile’ is a short film directed and written by Finn Parker, which is based on a true story. The director, who won the Special Jury Recognition Prize at the 2020 South by Southwest (SXSW) film festival for his short film, was approached by Paramount Pictures after the festival. The director couldn’t be happier about the opportunity that was offered to him by the studio, which humbled him.

Finn discussed the genesis of the film, clarifying that no particular factors influenced its creation. The director further explained that as time passed, it became increasingly challenging to frighten the audience, even with a basic jumpscare. The main objective was to delve into the inner world of an ordinary individual and depict the daily thoughts and experiences. Additionally, Finn expressed a strong desire to explore the idea of individuals concealing their emotions and personal history from society.

The main inspiration for the movie was how it reflects the thoughts and ideas of life, not exactly like a happily ever after story, but more like how real life ties everything up in the end. As the movie progresses, Finn wants the viewers to experience the unexpected journey whose end is far from simple. Through the film, the director depicts how a person goes through everyday life, dealing with fears, anxieties, and the idea of experiencing what you might feel if your own mind turns against you, like ‘Smile’ delves into.

Surprisingly, he is a big admirer of the corridor sequence from ‘The Exorcist III.’ In terms of the filmmaker, the film merges his concepts and components from a few of his cherished frightening movies. He wished that the film does not ultimately turn out as a mere amalgamation of familiar and proven horror elements. Although there are numerous components characteristic of a chilling narrative, one of the crucial aspects that Finn remembered was to make an effort not to regress into widely recognized horror clichés.

The director, Finn Parker, tried his best to create a truly chilling and frightening experience by incorporating elements from real-life into his movie ‘Smile’. He heavily empathizes with viewers and allows the protagonist to play with the idea of the brain’s functions, making the events in the movie feel like they could happen in real life. However, he took many steps to ensure that the expressions on the actors’ faces are not disturbing and authentic, as he insists on not adding post-production effects.

Learn More: What is the filming location for Smile (2022)?