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Smile 2 is coming, and this time, it's all about grinning and bearing the music industry (before, you know, the killing)

The horror sequel arrives in theaters this October

Smile 2
Image credit: Paramount Pictures

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It’s not easy being a pop star these days: the pressure of making the next big hit song, the unrelenting demands of fandom, being hunted down by a psychotic demon that is going to force you to commit unspeakable acts of violence either to yourself or others… wait. Maybe that last one is just the plot of Smile 2, this fall’s sequel to the surprise 2022 horror hit. Let’s take a look at the trailer to check.

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For those who don’t remember the original Smile, the set-up is simple: there’s a curse that, if you see someone with a very creepy smile kill themselves in a particularly terrible manner, the curse has then passed onto you, and you have one week before you end up killing yourself wearing that same smile, right in front of someone in order to pass on the curse. (There’s a supernatural entity involved, as well as a get-out clause that no-one’s prepared to use: if you kill someone else in that week with a witness, then the curse passes to the witness and you’re fine — well, a murderer, but otherwise fine.)

For this new installment, there’s a twist: popstar Skye Riley (Naomi Scott) is the one cursed, and has to deal with a week where it’s unclear what’s the curse messing with her perception, and what is real — oh, and if she kills herself in front of an audience, what happens to the curse then…?

Alongside Scott, the movie stars Lukas Gage, Rosemarie DeWitt and, fascinatingly, Kyle Gallner — returning as Joel, who ended the first Smile being cursed himself. So, is he passing on the curse in this new movie, or did something else happen…?

Smile 2 opens in theaters October 18.

In the immortal words of Danny Elfman, "Life's no fun without a good scare." We couldn't agree more, which is why we think you should check out horror aficionado Greg Silber's list of the best horror movies of all time. Or, if you've already seen those classics, check out our list of the most underrated horror movies from the past couple years. And if you've already seen all of those, Let us tell you what to look forward to (or dread) in Popverse's list of upcoming horror movies.

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Graeme McMillan: Popverse Editor Graeme McMillan (he/him) has been writing about comics, culture, and comics culture on the internet for close to two decades at this point, which is terrifying to admit. He completely understands if you have problems understanding his accent.
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