Smile Director Parker Finn Knows He Left Some Stones Unturned For A Potential Sequel [Exclusive]

This post contains spoilers for "Smile."

Parker Finn served up a slice of fried gold this year with his smash-hit horror film, "Smile." The Sosie Bacon, Kyle Gallner, Caitlin Stasey, and Jessie T. Usher-starring film centers on a young psychologist who is plagued with horrific and unexplainable visions, often in the form of someone smiling at her, after witnessing the traumatic death of one of her patients. "Smile" is the most financially successful original horror film of 2022, and feels like the missing piece of the "domino-effect curse" trilogy of "The Ring" and "It Follows."

Parker Finn first concocted the idea with his equally creepy short film, "Laura Hasn't Slept," starring Stasey in the role she returned to for "Smile." The beauty of a film centered on a curse that can be passed on from person to person is that there are no limits in terms of returning for a sequel, or like with the conceptually similar "Final Destination," a franchise. /Film's own Lex Briscuso recently sat down with Finn to talk about the film and future of "Smile," who says there is a lot of "really exciting stuff" that could still be explored with future films.

"There are definitely some stones that have been left unturned, things I didn't get to do in the first one that are really exciting," he says. Fortunately, Finn also said that he has no interest in just repeating the same story over and over again, recognizing that rehashing the same ol' creepy tale wouldn't be fulfilling for him as a creative, or for audiences paying to watch it.

But he left "Smile" open for a sequel for a reason.

The fear of the unknown

Parker Finn stressed that any return to the world of "Smile" would need to feel "fresh and unexpected," and promised to bring "new devilish tricks" to excite the audience. Finn tells us that he finds the unknown to be the thing that scares him most, saying, "If you can't define the thing that's coming after you or put that supernatural thing into a box, it's much scarier for me at least, rather than some priest in '1408' that read a book ... That to me is less the stuff that really scares me."

Finn described the journey of "Smile" protagonist Dr. Rose Cotter as "cosmic," rooting her fear in something completely unexplainable. "That is really horrifying and also feels like thematically resonant to all of the internal stuff that she's also dealing with," he says. "It can very much feel like you are cursed when you're dealing with things like trauma and guilt and that your mind is something that you can't really trust." Considering every human being processes negative emotions in completely different ways, the sky's the limit for the ways Finn could explore these similar themes.

"I have some thoughts and ideas, but I don't want to push them out onto audiences too early, but we might possibly in the future learn more about that," Finn said. /Film's Drew Tinnin spoke to "Smile" star Kyle Gallner, who also has plenty of ideas of his own regarding a potential sequel. It's clear that, for those involved in the film (who also didn't die on screen), there's a hope that "Smile" won't be the end of the story.