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Smile movie ending explained

Smile sees Doctor Rose Cotter go head to head with a mysterious grinning entity but what happens at the end of this terrifying horror movie

Smile ending explained

Spoilers for Smile ahead and also a warning that this story contains content about suicide. The horror movie Smile tells the story of Rose Cotter (Sosie Bacon), a doctor living a perfectly normal life working in a psychiatric hospital.

Rose’s life is turned upside down after a traumatic encounter with a disturbed young woman leaves her experiencing nightmarish visions. She soon discovers that she’s the latest victim of a malevolent entity that passes from host to host by making them experience trauma.

As she starts to question her sanity and her life falls apart, Rose has just seven days to work out how to escape the curse or become the latest victim of whatever the Smile monster is. So does she manage to survive? Well, if you really want to know, here’s our Smile movie ending explained.

Smile ending explained

By the end of Smile, the creature tormenting Rose has almost completely destroyed her life, and she’s cut off from both her sister and fiancee. Desperate for help, she turns to her old flame Joel (Kyle Gallner), a policeman.

Together they work out the chain of suicides and eventually trace it back far enough to an incarcerated man called Robert Talley who killed his business partner after coming into contact with the creature. They take a trip out to visit Talley, and he confesses that he did have the curse, but he passed it on without taking his own life.

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Talley claims that if you commit a horrible enough murder in front of a witness, the entity will be passed on to the person who saw the crime. Rose briefly flirts with the idea of killing one of her patients, but the entity plays causes her to hallucinate the crime, convincing her she cannot go through with it.

It’s then she realises the creature’s weakness. It needs to be seen for the chain to continue, so she drives out to her old abandoned family home, far from anyone she knows. While there, Rose confronts her past – specifically her mother’s suicide – and the monster tries to manipulate her into leaving.

Smile ending explained

Rose tells the creature that as it’s locked in her mind, it lacks any power, and after a brief scuffle, she gets the upper hand setting the beast on fire. With the monster burned to a crisp, Rose returns to society and heads straight to Joel’s house, where the pair reconcile.

Just kidding, this entire bit was a hallucination, and Rose is still in the house with the creature. Realising what’s happening, Rose hears Joel outside the house – having tracked her mobile phone – and the monster makes its move. It forces its way into Rose’s mouth, completely taking over her body.

Smile ending explained

As Joel walks through the door, he finds Rose standing in the living room covered in gasoline, her face trapped in a rictus grin. As he watches, Rose lights a match, and we cut to black with Joel, the next victim in the monster’s chain of murders.

If you love things that creep, crawl, and terrify, check out our list of the best monster movies.