The horror movie Smile is opening on Friday, and in a genius bit of marketing, the studio gave horror and baseball fans a creepy meta experience this past Friday.
On September 23, viewers of three Major League Baseball (MLB) games had people in the stands, near the cameras, who had disturbingly evil smiles across their faces, sometimes for innings at a time.
Innings and Grinnings
Sports Illustrated reported on the story citing three games in which the grinning people appeared: Red Sox-Yankees, Mets-Athletics, and Cardinals-Dodgers.
The stunt was effective. Unnerved fans and viewers quickly went to social media and posted about the smilers, making the whole gag a success.
But sports fans weren’t the only ones creeped out by the grinning ghouls. During the live broadcast of Good Morning America, behind hosts Hoda Kotb and Al Roker, a scare actor could be seen with the same evil Cheshire grin watching them from the street window.
The Psychotic Smirk
This deceptively trustworthy facial expression is known as the Psychotic smirk according to tvtropes.com.
“The Psychotic Smirk is a favorite with Big Bads everywhere. There’s no need to broadcast just how dangerous they are – everyone’s got a pretty good idea already, but no one can prove it. The important thing is to smile with only one side of the mouth. Sometimes, it’s accompanied by a Finger Wag as if to say “Nice try, sucker” if the hero had attempted to defeat them.”
That concept might be behind the plot of Smile which follows Dr. Rose Cotter who after experiencing a traumatic event notices that people start to smile just before becoming murderously unhinged.
Sosie Bacon — Kevin Bacon’s daughter — portrays the troubled Cotter in the film and she says it was a tough role, and audiences aren’t ready.
“Truthfully, I wasn’t fully aware of how much this part would wear on me when I began the movie,” Bacon told Orange Magazine. “It’s physically demanding, because your body doesn’t understand the difference between acting and real life. But honestly, I don’t know that anything can prepare you for an experience like ‘Smile.’”
Smile opens in theaters on Friday, September 30.