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The 13 Most Disturbing Moments From Smile Ranked

Contains spoilers for "Smile," as well as plot-related discussions of suicide and mental illness.

It didn't take long for 2022 to prove itself a strong year for the horror genre, dishing out some great original flicks like "Barbarian" and "X" that provided viewers with some disturbing and unsettling moments. Parker Finn's feature directorial debut "Smile" is another movie filled with incredible scares and shocking brutality. The film follows psychiatrist Rose (Sosie Bacon) as she finds herself terrorized by an evil smiling entity that looks to push her to the edge, until it's ready to make her perform a horrifying act of violence.

Finn showcases some strong scare prowess in the great suspense he builds and pays off with terrifying jump scares, and there are some truly grueling and grim moments in "Smile" that get deep under your skin and instill chills. The central entity's methods of tormenting its victims and disposing of them is legitimately hard to watch because of how gruesome it is. The grisly atmosphere can be completely unsettling at times, making for some memorable moments of pure horror. With all these horrors that are tough to get out of our minds, let's rank which moments of "Smile" are the most disturbing. 

13. Rose visits the only other survivor

After Joel (Kyler Gallner) digs a little deeper into the past victims of the smiling entity, he comes across one who was actually able to escape death and is currently sitting in jail. Naturally, Rose wants to talk to him to figure out a possible escape from the smiling entity, and with Joel pulling some strings, she's able to meet Robert (Rob Morgan). Unfortunately, this meeting with the only survivor doesn't go as planned, and unearths a disturbing escape route. 

Rob tells Rose that the only way to escape the entity, at the moment, is by killing someone in front of someone else so that the entity can shift to the witness. It's a horrifying truth that's tough for Rose to deal with, and pushes her to reveal that she's currently being stalked by the entity. This sends Robert into a frenzied tailspin that's totally unsettling, as his screams and cries for her to get away are undeniably chilling. Morgan's performance makes this sequence totally unnerving and his scream will echo in your head like a bad nightmare. 

12. Some shocking crime photos

There are a lot of moments when Rose and Joel talk about some of the many past victims of the smiling entity, but it doesn't even compare to seeing the aftermath of their gruesome acts of violence. The video that Rose and Joel see of a smiling man killing himself with some garden shears in front of an old lady is just plain horrifying, and it only gets worse when looking at some of the crime photos. 

If you thought the descriptions of some of the deaths were rough or that Laura's (Caitlin Stasey) gruesome death was going to be the worst visual in the film, well, "Smile" has plenty more disturbing tricks up its sleeve. In a scene when Rose has a bunch of crime photos laid out across the table, you can see a lot of bloody, grisly, and just plain disturbing deaths that the smiling entity has caused, and they are certainly not easy to look at. "Smile" has some rough deaths that really make you feel uneasy, and just seeing them in photos doesn't make them any easier to stomach. 

11. A conversation with the therapist

Shortly after glancing over the crime scene photos of the smiling entity's previous victims, Rose gets an unexpected and unwanted visit from her old therapist, Madeline (Robin Weigert), who she recently started seeing again. Although she's reluctant to let her in at first, she eventually does, and the two have a brief chat before it's broken up by the phone ringing. Once Rose answers the call, she gets a horrifying surprise.

It's another moment when the smiling entity puts Rose in a false reality while Madeline's on the phone, meaning that the smiling entity is actually sitting across from her. If it ended there, it would be a perfectly chilling scene, but it goes a step further as the entity establishes a terrifying physical dominance. It starts walking towards Rose with a menacing smile, seemingly growing in size making until it has a truly daunting screen presence. Its forceful grip on her face crosses a whole new line that puts you on edge. Up until this point, the smiling entity seemed to just be a mental threat, but we now see how physically tormenting it can be.

10. Twisted Sister

One of the more emotionally taxing moments of the film is watching Rose confront her sister Holly (Gillian Zinser) about what's happening to her while standing in front of her house. The way they talk about their mom's death and Rose's handling of it cuts deep at times. It never feels good to see these two go at each other like this, especially with Rose being in a weakened state. However, that's not the only thing that makes this sequence memorable — there's also a disturbing visual twist.

Just as Rose heads back into her car feeling hopeless, Holly can be seen walking towards the car possibly wanting to mend things. Unfortunately, it's just the entity preparing a cruel trick on Rose, posing as Holly to deliver a horrifying vision of Holly's neck crudely twisting downward to say hello. There's a reason that this sequence was played up in the trailers — it's absolutely terrifying, and Rose's screams of horror are completely warranted and feel like a harsh stab to the gut.

9. A therapy session gone wrong

Right before the stylized title card hits the screen, we start with Rose and Laura's (Caitlin Stasey) session together. It's a scene that's been played up throughout the film's marketing campaign, and the full version doesn't disappoint in how unnerving and disturbing it is. Laura's description of the smiling entity acting like a mask, and how mortified she is by the idea that it could kill her, will get you on edge right from the start. Things only become more terrifying after she sees it again, leading to it possessing her.

Laura writhing on the ground while the smiling entity possess her is tough to watch, and the scene only becomes more disturbing when it's time for her to pass the entity onto Rose. With a single shard from a shattered plant pot and that nightmare-inducing smile, Laura ends up succumbing to the entity's power and enacts a horrifying act in front of Rose. The slowness and realism of the moment will surely leave you uncomfortable. It has such a deep impact, it feels like a scar that will permeate your consciousness throughout the rest of the film. Laura's death is absolutely gruesome, and there's no forgetting it. 

8. A fiery final battle

When Rose heads back to her childhood home to confront her past trauma and the entity posing as her mother, you're left wondering what her exact plan is, how she's going to defeat the entity, and what it even looks like. Well, those questions are answered in a fiery final battle that's scary as hell and incredibly tense.

Once Rose angers the entity enough, it transforms into a lanky and vicious giant woman, not unlike The Mother from "Barbarian," and starts to attack Rose in a dominating manner. She is absolutely terrifying, but Rose eventually gets the upper hand with the help of a gas lantern. After knocking her over the head with the lantern, Rose is able to set the entity on fire and escape the house before it burns down. It's incredibly creepy to see the entity crawl towards Rose while on fire, and it ends up being a memorable final bout that takes a nasty turn once Rose makes another horrifying discovery about what happened. 

7. The smiling entity's true form?

Throughout the movie, we see the smiling entity pose as plenty of different people and give them its signature grisly smile. However, with the film having very little backstory on what the being is or where it came from, it's tough to say what it really looks like, aside from the assumption that the giant woman it transforms into near the end is something approximating its preferred shape. However, it's possible that its true form is revealed during the final moments of the film, and it's just monstrous.

Before possessing Rose, the creature rips all its of skin off to show a monster that embodies all the skin-crawling and nauseating elements of a great body-horror creature, and starts to rip its own jaw open. Its humongous size makes the entity an absolutely towering terror as its exposed muscles and organs start to make your stomach churn. Is this the smiling entity's real body? We never really get confirmation on that, but we can say for certain that it's an absolute nightmare to behold. 

6. Rose thinks she's gotten away...

Once Rose is able to escape the burning house, it seems like the smiling entity has gone up in flames inside her childhood home and that Rose has finally escaped its grip. However, she quickly comes to realize that she's not free just yet. Upon arriving at Joel's just to have a place to stay for the night, Rose realizes that things aren't normal as Joel starts to act weird, and eventually shows himself to be the smiling entity. It's not too long before she runs out through a door and finds herself not outside of Joel's place, but outside of her childhood home, still intact.

This all means that everything she thought she did to kill the smiling entity was just an illusion and that she's really about to succumb to the entity's power. As a horror fan, there's nothing better than a great fake-out ending, and although it's easy to see this one coming, the sheer impact and gut-wrenching toll it has on Rose hurts deep and is totally horrifying. It's a terrifying reveal that leads to an even more twisted ending, and is just a standout moment that pulls the rug out from under viewers. 

5. Disturbed drawings

Rose eventually finds a link to a professor who died in front of Laura, causing the entity to pass onto her. She eventually runs into the professor's wife and talks to her about what her husband saw. The answers don't reveal too much beyond what we already know — basically that he was continually tormented by the entity with no one believing him. But what she shows Rose is super creepy.

She takes Rose into a room where the professor had created a lot of drawings of the smiling entity posing as different people, and while the drawings aren't the most shocking or bloodiest parts of "Smile," the art is unforgettably disturbing. The crude style instantly gets under your skin, particularly the image of a sinister disembodied  smile breaking through the darkness. Aside from bringing in a unique horror aesthetic, these drawings evoke a unique kind of scary atmosphere for the film, making for a memorable sequence that distills the movie's disturbing power to its essence.

4. Rose's final moments

The ending of "Smile" fits right alongside "The Grudge" or "Sinister" in how messed up and kind of mean-spirited it is, as Rose unfortunately becomes possessed by the smiling entity. As Joel tries to break into the house, you just know in your gut that it's exactly what the smiling entity wants, since he'll become the witness it needs to transfer into another person and continue the cycle. Of course, he does break in, and Rose delivers a chilling final kill that's just skin-crawling.

As Joel peers into another room, he sees Rose dousing herself in gasoline and turning around with that awful smile on her face. With the lighting of one match, Rose lights herself ablaze in front of Joel, continuing the smiling entity's cycle of trauma and giving it a new victim. The film's final moments are sure to rock you to your core with how vicious an end it is for our main character, and it's even more disturbing thinking about how this cycle will continue. It's always frightening to see a monster like the smiling entity come out on top and, that's a big reason why you'll leave "Smile" terrified. 

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ by dialing 988 or by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

3. Watching the smiling entity possess Rose

After seeing Lauren get possessed by the smiling entity at the start, you can't help but develop a morbid curiosity about how it actually goes about taking over someone's body. For the most part, you only really see it as just a smiling face — even when you see it turn into a gigantic skinless body horror monster, you're still left wondering what actually happens. Well, the film does deliver an answer, and it's absolutely sickening to see it play out.

After basically making Rose feel completely helpless and defeated, the entity grabs onto Rose's mouth and rips open her jaw in a painstakingly slow fashion to, it seems, literally go inside her body. Regardless how weird the visual effects might look on screen, there's no doubt that this moment is captivating in how mind-bendingly strange it is. It feels like unfiltered body horror at its finest, and leaves a definitive mark as one of the most chilling visuals in all of "Smile."

2. An unexpected birthday present

While the smiling entity's tricks on Rose are generally relegated to mind games and loud scares in the beginning, there's one unforgettable moment early on that shows the entity's twisted sense of torment. Cat lovers are sure to be gripping their seats when Rose's beloved cat Moustache goes missing, and they'll likely be mortified by the reveal of what happens to it.

At her nephew's birthday party, instead of Rose's present being the toy train she believes she bought him, it ends up being the dead body of Moustache. It's a totally messed-up sequence with the power to leave your eyes widened and your heart hurting at something so innocent being so defiled. Even worse is when Rose falls through a glass table in distress after seeing one of the partygoers bearing the dreaded smiling face. Bacon's performance and the sequence's grisly atmosphere make this moment send chills throughout your body. Rose's screams of anguish and heartache are palpably painful to hear, and this moments shows that "Smile" isn't afraid to get gruesome. 

1. Fantasizing a killer escape

When Rose learns that Robert killed someone to get out of the smiling entity's cycle, she's absolutely horrified and disgusted by the idea of having to kill someone herself, and she refuses to do it. However, with her options of escape slowly dwindling, she eventually starts to give in to the idea that she might have to take a life, and we see her start to act on this plan by heading back to the hospital. 

With a knife in hand, Rose heads in to see her patient Carl (Jack Sochet) and cause a bit of a commotion to draw her supervisor Morgan (Kal Penn) into the room to act as the witness. Once Morgan's there, Rose starts stabbing Carl in the chest and gut, making for a horrifically violent sequence. But the disturbing vibes of the scene only get turned up from there as Carl starts to laugh with blood spewing out of his mouth, sending Morgan into a terrified (and terrifying) fit of screaming before ripping his face off. It's quite a shocking moment designed to completely catch you off guard. It may end up only being a fantasy of Rose's, but it doesn't make it any less disturbing, and this sequence easily ends up a nightmarish fever dream you simply can't forget.