‘Smile’ Ending, Explained: Was Rose Able To Defeat The Smiling Demon?

Smile” is the latest movie helmed and authored by Parker Finn, known for movies like “Hidebehind” and “Laura Hasn’t Slept,” and stars Sosie Bacon as Rose Cutter, Jessi T. Usher as Trevor, and Kal Penn as Doc. Morgan Desai, Kyle Gallner as Joel, and Caitlin Stasey as Laura Weaver. The movie follows the story of a brilliant psychiatrist who, after witnessing a suicide, is haunted by the evil spirit who killed her patient Laura Weaver. The evil spirit draws out Rose’s phobias and traumas, and she is once again compelled to face her past. Did she survive? Let’s find out!


Spoilers Ahead

‘Smile’ Plot Synopsis: What Happens In The Movie?

The movie opens up with a closeup shot of a decaying corpse, and as the camera pans, we see scores of pills, empty bottles, and burnt cigarettes, suggesting that the woman was maybe depressed and was on medication and might’ve overdosed on antidepressants. The scene shifts, and we’re introduced to Dr. Rose Cutter, who’s a psychiatrist at the hospital. Dr. Rose is one of the best psychiatrists in the nation and shares a special bond with all her patients. This is deepened by the fact that she often gets in trouble with her boss, Morgan Desai, for treating patients without insurance. Rose’s new patient is Laura Weaver, a brilliant Ph.D. candidate who was brought in after she saw her college professor beat himself to death with a jackhammer. Rose tries to calm Laura, who is dead scared, and reveals that she’s been having visions and sees figures no one else can see, and the strange figures follow her everywhere and give a very sinister smile. Suddenly Laura sees something and goes into shock; Rose tries to calm Laura, who has now been possessed by the strange figure, donning the same eerie smile, but to no avail, as Laura slits her throat and drowns in her blood. 


The Aftermath Of Laura’s Suicide 

After Laura’s death, the cops question Rose to get an idea of Laura’s mental state. Rose reveals that Laura was having paranoid delusions and believed that some evil figure was haunting her. Laura’s death was too much for Rose to take in, as she had never witnessed something like this before, and she hallucinated her standing in the dark carrying a sinister grin on her face. Rose decides to investigate Laura and asks one of the nurses to pull her files. According to her files, Laura was the sole witness to a horrific incident in which one of her university professors bludgeoned himself to death. The reports also mentioned that the professor was donning the same sinister laugh that Laura did while she killed herself, suggesting that he was also possessed by the same evil entity. Rose’s hallucinations were getting worse, and she was given a paid week off when she falsely ordered her staff to detain one of her patients, whom she falsely believed to be hostile and violent. Back at her house, Rose experiences yet another hallucination and finds herself in her old home, looking at her mother’s dead body, and the audience learns that the little girl glimpsed in the beginning was none other than Rose. Rose contacted a fellow psychiatrist and requested a prescription for Risperdal, a medicine used to treat schizophrenia, hallucinations, dementia, and more, but the latter refused. Rose suffered from PTSD after her mother killed herself and was still haunted by the echoes of the ungodly night, and Laura’s death may have escalated her nightmares. Maybe the evil spirit has possessed Rose and is making her do things she would’ve never wanted, like killing her cat Mustache and wrapping her up like a present and gifting it to her nephew, George. She is brought into an ER after she suffers an anxiety attack and wounds herself on George’s birthday. 


The Evil Pattern

Rose tries to convince her fiance that the evil spirit that killed her patient has attached himself to her and intends to hurt her and those around him, but Trevor wards her off by calling her crazy and labeling her condition as genetic. Rose visits Mr. Munez’s wife in the hope of getting some answers regarding her husband’s death, and she reveals that she has often caught Gabriel having conversations with himself. Mrs. Munez brings Rose to Gabriel’s office, which is swamped with sketches of the evil crackle. In reality, Professor Gabriel, too, witnessed a suicide like Rose and was never the same afterward. Professor Gabriel was staying in a motel when he witnessed Angela Powell committing suicide. An incident report filed days before Angela’s death suggested that, like Gabriel, Laura, and Rose, Angela, too, saw someone take his own life. These suicides may seem random, but in reality, they are all the handiwork of the same evil demon that clings to whoever is present at the time of the suicide. Not only this, the pattern stretches further and has so far claimed the lives of 19 victims, and none of the victims had survived longer than a week, hinting that Rose is running out of time. But one of the victims, Robert Tally, has survived and is sentenced to life in prison for first-degree murder, breaking the pattern. Rose’s ex-boyfriend arranges an audience with Robert Tally and is still having a hard time believing that an evil entity is behind all the suicides. 


Rose and Joel meet with Tally, who breaks down in tears after she reveals that she’s also seen one of her patients commit suicide. Tally was able to escape the pattern after he offered someone else’s life instead of his. The evil entity feeds on fear and trauma and needs death to spread from one victim to another. Tally saw his boss commit suicide and, in order to save his life, murdered an innocent woman, but someone else witnessed the horrific murders and stabbed himself to death a few days later, resuming the pattern. Meanwhile, The entity keeps haunting Laura, donning the faces of her loved ones, constantly reminding her that she’ll never be able to escape and will eventually have to kill herself. Rose realizes that the only way to break the curse is to kill someone and hallucinates about murdering her patient Carl, her boss Morgan Desai peeling the skin off his face. 

‘Smile’ Ending Explained – Was Rose Able To Defeat The Smiling Demon?

Rose drives to her old house, where her mother killed herself in hopes of saving herself and stopping the murderous pattern. Rose is greeted by visions of her past and sees her mother crying in pain, begging her to call for help. The evil appears and chases Rose through the abandoned house, but Rose burns the demon and walks out of the burning house. Believing she had broken the curse, she apologized to Joel for pushing him away and ruining their friendship. Rose had a habit of isolating herself, fearing that people would see through her lies and end up leaving her. Rose asks Joel to be by her side as she sleeps, but her peace is short-lived as she hears the sinister laugh again, implying that the evil still lives and the curse is still in effect. Rose runs out of the house and shockingly finds herself in front of the house, confirming that she was hallucinating this entire time. She sees Joel and runs inside the abandoned house, where she locks the door to keep Joel out. The entity appears again and enters Rose’s body, finally possessing her. Rose utters a loud scream, prompting Joel to break down the door and enter the house. Once in, Rose greets Joel with a sinister smile and burns herself, eventually passing on the curse to him, and the pattern continues. 


The evil spirit grows stronger and more dangerous as it feeds on its victims’ fears and trauma. This is why the evil waits for days before he devours his current victim and moves on to the next. Gabriel, Laura, and Rose were alike in more ways than one. Gabriel’s wife never believed that an evil spirit was stalking her husband and even warded Rose out of her house when she claimed to share the same visions. Even Rose rejects Laura’s suggestion that the evil spirit traumatized her and labeled her condition PTSD. Rose also tastes karma when her fiance, Trevor, abandons her in her hour of need, just like she abandoned her mother as she cries for help. The movie brilliantly explains society’s attitude against people who’re dealing with inner trauma and mental health. Even though the ones suffering are constantly at war with their mind, they’re hesitant to communicate their feelings or situation to anyone, worrying they’ll be laughed at or branded “Mentally Unstable.”

See more: ‘Smile’ Symbolization And Psychological Aspect, Explained: Why Did The Victim Smile Before Killing Themselves?

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Rishabh Shandilya
Rishabh Shandilya
Rishabh considers himself a superhero who is always at work trying to save the world from boredom. In his leisure time, he loves to watch more movies and play video games and tries to write about them to entertain his readers further. Rishabh likes to call himself a dedicated fan of Haruki Murakami, whose books are an escape from his real being.

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