Creepiest Horror Movie of 2022 Becomes a Surprising Hit on Netflix

Creepiest Horror Movie of 2022 Becomes a Surprising Hit on Netflix
Image credit: Temple Hill Entertainment

Fans of quality horror movies are in for a treat.


  • Netflix is full of great horror movies and shows.
  • Recently, a supernatural horror released in 2022 made its way into the Global Top 10.
  • It's a scary story that mixes the psychological and the supernatural.

The Netflix library is a treasure trove of fascinating movies and shows, no matter what genre you prefer. And if you're the kind of person who thrives on testing your nerves, we've got a great horror movie for you.

The movie in question recently made its way onto the streaming service's list of most-watched projects. Let's find out why Netflix users are so passionate about it.

What Is This Horror Film About?

We're talking about the psychological supernatural horror film Smile, which was released in the US on September 30, 2022 to rave reviews from critics and strong commercial numbers.

Smile is the feature debut of filmmaker Parker Finn, who directed the new horror based on his previous short project titled Laura Hasn't Slept, which was released in 2020. The plot followed patient Laura Weaver (Caitlin Stasey), who complained to her therapist Dr. Parsons (Lew Temple) about a mysterious man from her nightmares. Only the therapist turned out to be that very man.

Caitlin Stasey returned as Laura in the feature film adaptation. It all begins with Laura in a psychiatric ward, slitting her throat in front of therapist Rose Cotter (Sosie Bacon) out of fear of an unseen entity. This time, however, creepy hallucinations begin to haunt Rose, followed by equally creepy incidents. What is it, trauma and mass psychosis, or a curse passed from victim to victim?

Rave Reviews and Commercial Success

These days, unless it's a horror film directed by Ari Aster or Eli Roth and produced by A24, review aggregator scores are hardly impressive. However, Smile received some pretty strong reviews from critics when it premiered at Fantastic Fest a week before its wide release, as well as from general moviegoers after its opening.

On Rotten Tomatoes, Smile scored a 79% approval rating from critics and a 77% score from audiences. Many praised the acting talent of Sosie Bacon, the anxiety-inducing scenes of the film, as well as the daunting problem of alienation in modern society, which in Smile is expressed through the fear of absolute emotional and psychological unavailability of our friends and loved ones.

The movie may not have the most original screenplay, but it skillfully builds suspense by playing on our very real fears and experiences, ultimately making Smile one of the most realistic and frightening horror films of recent years.

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Sudden Rise in Popularity on Netflix

And now, nearly two years after its theatrical release, Smile has racked up impressive ratings on Netflix over the past week. According to What's on Netflix, the 2022 horror film made its way onto the most-watched list on May 17, 2024, coming in at number five on the global top 10.

In the days that followed, the movie's ratings on the global chart began to drop slightly, but it is still in the top spot: at the time of writing, Smile is in ninth place. Nevertheless, more and more regions are appearing every day where Smile ranks in the local Top 10s.

By the way, back in 2022, Parker Finn stated that he wanted to develop the story further, intentionally leaving many of the movie's questions unanswered, including those about the entity itself. The sequel is already in active production and is slated for release on October 18, 2024.

While the movie is available on Netflix in most regions (UK residents will need a Netflix and Sky bundle), it is unfortunately not available in the US. The movie is produced under the auspices of Paramount Pictures, so if you live in the US, you can watch it on Paramount+. It is also available for streaming on Prime Video and Fubo TV.