Bloody Disgusting reports that Parker Finn is ready to scare the pants off of us once more with the news that Smile 2 will make its way to theaters just before next Halloween. The Smile follow-up is slated for an October 18, 2024, release and will continue to explore the unnerving universe that Finn created with his 2022 feature-length directorial debut, which was based on his 2020 short film Laura Hasn’t Slept. Finn has gone on record stating that he wants to find new ways to frighten his audience and has hinted that several plot lines from the first film have yet to be explored.
Smile 2 has been announced by Paramount, and it’s arriving just in time for Halloween 2024.
We’ve got to give credit where it’s due and acknowledge that Smile was originally set to be released for streaming on Paramount+. But after positive test screenings, Paramount decided to give the film a wide theatrical release, which clearly was the right move to make. Smile went on to earn over $217 million at the box office against its reported modest budget of $17 million, and we can expect Smile 2 to be an equally strong earner if Finn hits it out of the park again with the upcoming sequel.
Smile garnered an 80 percent critical score on Rotten Tomatoes, and critics agree that the film got under their skin in all the right ways.
Smile is one of those supernatural horror films that will get under your skin with its storytelling. Not only are we presented with an unreliable narrator in many ways, but the curse in the film makes it difficult for even the viewer to discern the difference between what’s happening in protagonist Dr. Rose Cotter’s mind and what’s happening around her.
What becomes apparent quickly, however, is that an evil force following Dr. Rose feeds off trauma and drives its subjects to suicide while sardonically smiling, which will be further explored in Smile 2 as the unknown entity continues to terrorize her ex-boyfriend, Joel.
At least we have reason to believe that Smile 2 will strongly emphasize Joel based on how the first film ended (without dropping too many spoilers).
We are already looking forward to the viral marketing campaign for Smile 2 following the ingenius ads for the first film.
Smile garnered an 80 percent critical score on Rotten Tomatoes, and critics agree that the film got under their skin in all the right ways. While some of the less favorable reviews criticized the film for relying too heavily on jump-scares, it’s clear that Smile isn’t a one-trick pony and uses deceit to create a world full of tension and unease. If Smile 2 proves to be a critical and commercial success like its predecessor, we may very well have the next big horror franchise on our hands that will scare us well into the next decade.
If past performance indicates future success, then we have reason to believe that Smile 2 will be the sequel we’re waiting for. Parker Finn captured lightning in a bottle with Smile and, in doing so, injected new life into the horror genre. And by the looks of it, there will be plenty more where that came from because Finn entered a multi-year first-look deal with Paramount Pictures to write, direct, and produce additional feature films in the coming years.