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The first trailer for Smile 2 confirms the viral marketing of the original

The first Smile was a pretty good horror movie and a pretty big hit. While those two facts are closely related, at least part of the film's cultural impact was due to its incredible marketing campaign, which saw people show up to high-profile events like sports games wearing the series' signature unnatural grins. It didn't have much to do with the movie, but it was undeniably effective. Thankfully, the first trailer for Smile 2the big-budget sequel to the series is intended to make the marketing stunt of the original come true.

Smile relied mostly on intimate, small scares and the creepy idea that the person you're talking to could be infected with the Smile curse without you even knowing it. Main character Rose (Sosie Bacon) watched the curse spread through the various members of her life until she finally understood what was causing it.

But the marketing campaign was aimed at something much bigger and more sinister. When normal (or somewhat normal) people sit at baseball games and grin at the camera, it suggested something violent, an indescribable infection of sporadic, inexplicable violence accompanied by a wide grin and big, empty eyes. Fortunately, the new film seems to draw from exactly that deep well.

The trailer for the new film focuses primarily on pop star Skye Riley (Naomi Scott), who appears to be in the middle of a major nationwide stadium tour – a popular destination for horror movies this year. Of course, without explanation, smiles begin to creep through the crowd and their fans, and violence ensues.

It looks much bigger and more expensive, but with the same methodical, slow-burn scares that made the first film so effective. And more importantly, the crowds make the series' signature grins even more terrifying, making the cursed victims stand out from the crowd, just like the baseball games in the original commercials.

Smile 2 was, like the original film, written and directed by Parker Finn and is scheduled to be released in theaters on October 18th.