Smile director was worried no one would notice crowd 'smilers' at baseball games

What happens if no one notices the viral marketing campaign for your new horror film? That's the question that was bothering director Parker Finn last week.

In Finn's debut Smile (out Sept. 30) a malevolent supernatural entity takes over people and makes them perform terrible acts while grinning ear to ear. As part of the Paramount film's marketing campaign, performers were prominently placed at baseball games on Friday where they adopted the biggest smile they could muster.

"I've got to say, Paramount marketing has been very clever with some of the tricks they've had up their sleeves for this film," says Finn. "This is something that had been discussed a little while back and we were all kind of like crossing our fingers that somebody might notice."


Paramount Pictures Smile

Finn needn't have worried. The smiling crowd members did indeed go viral on social media, and the story was subsequently picked up by a variety of outlets, including Sports Illustrated's online site, which ran a story headlined "Creepy Fans 'Smile' At MLB Games."

"It was happening just organically and it was overwhelming how much that took off," says the director. "It was just instantly everywhere. Kudos for them for their terrific idea."

Smile stars Sosie Bacon as a psychiatrist haunted by an eerie presence.

"Smile follows a clinical psychiatrist, who is working in a public hospital setting," says Finn. "She has a bizarre, traumatic encounter with a patient, and afterwards, begins experiencing all kinds of really frightening occurrences that she can't quite explain, and starts to believe that something evil may have come in to her life."

Smile hits theaters Sept. 30. Watch the film's trailer below.

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