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What is the monster in Smile?

There's a terrifying new horror movie in cinemas called Smile but what is the monster at the heart of this horrifying psychological thriller

Smile monster explained

What is the monster in Smile? Smile is the hot new horror movie from Paramount Pictures, and to call it scary would be an understatement. The thriller movie follows Rose Cotter (Sosie Bacon), a doctor working in an emergency psychiatric hospital who one day has a horrifying encounter with a disturbed young woman.

The student tells Rose that for the last several days, she’s been pursued by ‘something’ only she can see. The creature can transform into anyone and has a horrifying habit of staring and smiling at its intended victim. But what is the Smile monster?

Well, we braved the multiplex and just about managed to sit through to the end of this terrifying movie to bring you, to the best of our ability, a breakdown of the Smile monster. There will be spoilers for Smile ahead, and please be warned this story contains content about suicide.

What is the monster in Smile?

The monster in Smile is never named or properly defined. Rose believes it’s a curse or a malevolent entity that attaches itself to the victims of trauma. Whatever it is, it’s exceptionally evil and takes malevolent delight in taunting and torturing those it targets.

The creature is entirely invisible to those not afflicted by its curse and does not seem to have a set form. Through the monster movie, we see it disguise itself as people its victims know – the dead and the living – and even strangers to get close to its target; the only thing its chosen forms have in common is they all have a terribly creepy smile.

After several days of torturing and frightening its chosen target, the monster seeks to possess its victim’s body, taking complete control of them.

In its new body, the creature will find someone in the nearby vicinity and kill its host in a horrific and deliberately traumatic way. This act passes on the curse to those who witnessed the suicide.

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What are the Smile monster’s weaknesses?

The Smile monster appears to have two weaknesses. First, you can break the chain of suicides by deliberately killing another person in front of a witness. If the murder causes the witness enough trauma, the curse will be passed on to that person before you’re compelled to commit suicide.

Its only other weakness is that it needs other people around it to see the suicide for the curse to be passed on. At the end of Smile, Rose goes to her mother’s old house away from any other potential witnesses.

The creature is then unable to steal her body because if it kills Rose, it has nowhere else to go. However, it’s a clever and cunning creature, and its various powers mean separating yourself from other people is very difficult.

Smile monster explained

What are the Smile monster’s powers?

The Smile monster ultimately lives in the mind of its victim and, as such, has complete control over their sense of perception. That’s why no one else can see it because it lives in its host’s mind.

It’s able to manipulate its host’s senses to make them see and hear all sorts of hallucinations. The creature also knows everything its host does, and it uses these memories to torture its victim. Once the creature has ground down its victim’s will, it can completely seize the body.

Because it lives in the mind of its host, the Smile creature seems to be completely invulnerable to physical harm.

Smile is in cinemas now; if you love things that go bump in the night, check out our guide to the best ghost movies.