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Smile 2022 Film Ending Explained

The ending of Smile reveals that the entity wins, taking over Rose and passing the curse to Joel. This twist highlights the film’s themes of trauma and unresolved pain.

Smile, a 2022 horror film, dives deep into the human psyche. Directed by Parker Finn, it follows Dr. Rose Cotter, a therapist haunted by a supernatural entity after witnessing a patient’s suicide. The film explores themes of trauma and fear, making it a standout in the horror genre.

Plot Overview

Dr. Rose Cotter works at a psychiatric ward. One day, she meets Laura Weaver, a graduate student. Laura claims she is being terrorized by an invisible entity that appears as smiling people. She says it foretold her death. During their session, Laura becomes calm, smiles, and slits her throat in front of Rose. This event sets off a series of terrifying experiences for Rose.

As Rose investigates, she finds a pattern of suicides. Each victim witnessed another’s death before their own. The entity, which manifests as a sinister smile, feeds on trauma and fear. It passes from one person to another through the act of witnessing a suicide. Rose’s journey leads her to confront her own traumatic past, including her mother’s death.

The Climactic Confrontation

The climax happens in Rose’s family cabin. She isolates herself to confront the entity and break the curse. Rose plans to destroy the entity or end her life without passing the curse. However, the entity’s power is too solid. In a dramatic scene, Rose sets the cabin on fire, thinking she has destroyed the entity and freed herself. She escapes, believing she has won.

The Final Twist

But the victory is an illusion. The real Rose is still in the cabin. The entity forces her to face her deepest fears. It takes on a grotesque form, peeling off its face to reveal a lifeless, grinning visage. In the final moments, the entity crawls inside Rose, taking over her body. Rose, now possessed, sets herself on fire in front of her ex-boyfriend, Joel. The curse passes to him.

Themes and Symbolism

The ending of Smile is rich with themes and symbolism. The entity represents unresolved trauma and its destructive power. Rose’s journey symbolizes the struggle to confront and overcome deep emotional pain. The sinister smile worn by the entity’s victims symbolizes the facade people often wear to hide their inner turmoil.

Director’s Intentions

Director Parker Finn crafted an ending that defies typical horror movie resolutions. He wanted to explore the idea that confronting trauma does not always lead to a neat resolution. The film follows the logical conclusion of the entity’s nature, emphasizing that sometimes evil persists. This approach adds emotional depth while maintaining the film’s unsettling atmosphere.

Sequel Potential

Following Smile’s success, a sequel is in development, set for release on October 18, 2024. While plot details are scarce, Parker Finn aims to explore the entity’s backstory and continue the film’s mythology. He promises to bring something new and unexpected, rather than retreading the original narrative.


Smile stands out as a thought-provoking horror film. Its ending, marked by a shocking twist, delves into themes of trauma and unresolved pain. The film’s success and the confirmation of a sequel show that audiences are eager for more. As the franchise develops, it will be captivating to see how it further explores the dark world introduced in Smile.


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