Paramount Pictures is promising a gruesome grinning horror treat with SMILE (2022), opening September 30, 2022, just in time for the Halloween season. Thinking back on horror movies throughout the decades, how many scary, frightening, or just downright ghastly smiles have horror fans encountered? The answer was surprising. Seems that a devilish grimace is as scary as the monsters, killers, and ghosts themselves. Let’s take a look back at some of most fiendish of the bunch.
All this, just in time for SMILE to hit theaters near you! SMILE is written and directed by Parker Finn. The cast includes Sosie Bacon, Jessie T. Usher, Kyle Gallner, Robin Weigert, Caitlin Stasey with Kal Penn and Rob Morgan.
Synopsis: After witnessing a bizarre, traumatic incident involving a patient, Dr. Rose Cotter (Sosie Bacon)
starts experiencing frightening occurrences that she can’t explain. As an overwhelming terror begins taking over her life, Rose must confront her troubling past in order to survive and escape her horrifying new reality.
TOP 10 GRUESOME GRIMACES IN HORROR CINEMA
1 – Jack Nicholson as Jack Torrance in Stanley Kubrick’s THE SHINING (1980) – Nobody grins like Jack!
2 – Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise from Andres Muschietti’s IT (2017) and IT: CHAPTER TWO (2019) – For some reason all clowns are scary; however, Pennywise is the most frightening of them all.
3 – Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates in Alfred Hitchcock’s PSYCHO (1960) – Perhaps one of the most chilling ending shots of all horror cinema.
4 – Robert Englund as Freddy Krueger in Wes Craven’s A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (1984) and its many sequels – the man of a million smiles, Englund’s Krueger is literally the stuff of nightmares.
5 – Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter in Jonathan Demme’s SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (1991) – Lecter’s smile burn right through you with Hopkins earning an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role.
6 – Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman in Mary Harron’s AMERICAN PSYCHO (2000) – whether dancing around or swinging a bloodied ax, Bale’s Bateman makes smiling dangerous.
7 – Linda Blair as Regan MacNeil in William Friedkin’s THE EXORCIST (1973) – devilishly innocent, the possessed Regan is planning awful things behind that smile.
8 – The deceased medium in Mario Bava’s BLACK SABBATH (1963) – this image scares me to this day, there’s something piercing in that frozen grimace that gets under your skin.
9 – Lon Chaney Sr. as “The Vampire” in Tod Browning’s LONDON AFTER MIDNIGHT (1927) – the lost classic illustrates the make-up mastery of the legendary Lon Chaney Sr.
10 – Mia Goth as Pearl in Ti West’s PEARL (2022) – perhaps the most uncomfortable closing credits in any film this year… or ever, Goth’s Pearl may have out-Bates Norman Bates himself.
But, WAIT! There’s more… let’s take a look at a few honorable mentions! Presented chronologically.
AND, what about arguably the most famous smiling villain in the history of cinema, THE JOKER?