Smile Star Sosie Bacon Continues A Certain Horror Movie Legacy

The old parlor game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon doesn't have to go far when it comes to Sosie Bacon, the star of "Smile," in theaters now. As the daughter of fellow actors Kyra Sedgwick and Kevin Bacon (who are actually ninth cousins, once removed, much to their surprise), there's only one layer of separation between Sosie and the other Baconator in question.

"Smile" gives Sosie Bacon the lead role in a horror movie that drew positive reviews coming out of its Fantastic Fest premiere and is already off to a good start with audiences at the box office. It also continues the legacy of horror roles in the Bacon family.

One of Kevin Bacon's earliest film roles was the original "Friday the 13th" in 1980. He didn't stop at that one slasher movie, however. 1990 brought the one-two punch of the creature feature "Tremors" and the psychological thriller "Flatliners." And at the turn of the millennium, he was at it again: starring in "Stir of Echoes," based on the Richard Matheson horror novel, and then going invisible to menace the likes of Elizabeth Shue, Josh Brolin, and Kim Dickens in "Hollow Man." Kyra Sedgwick has also dabbled in horror with her 2012 role in "The Possession." 

Just when you thought Mr. Bacon was done with horror, there came his more recent roles in films like "The Darkness" and "They/Them," which have both suffered the slings and barbs of a poor critical consensus, but which make up for that with sheer genre tenacity on his part. It's something that's now carrying over to Sosie Bacon, who, together with the cast and crew of "Smile," seems hellbent on put a horrifying grin on your face, even if it means photobombing baseball games from behind home plate.

Number one on the call sheet

In Ryan Scott's /Film interview with Sosie Bacon, the actress discussed the challenge of going from "number three or four on the call sheet" in her previous film and television projects to now starring in "Smile." I'll confess that I did not even realize she was Sedgwick and Bacon's daughter until this movie. I had seen some of her work as a supporting player in HBO's "Mare of Easttown," for instance, but I just chalked her face up to that of another recognizable character actor, like you see all the time on TV.

"Smile" puts Bacon out in front as lead, and it shows that — while still upholding the family legacy — she's managed to carve her own path to horror stardom, enough to preemptively quash the "nepo baby" cries of social media trolls (which are perhaps worthy of their own horror movie, but that's a different story).

Here's the official synopsis for "Smile" via Paramount Pictures:

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.

"Smile" is in theaters now.