Smile (2022) – Character Guide and Ending Explanation

A synopsis of how Smile (2022) ended, whether a prequel or sequel is possible, and a character guide.

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Poster With Laura Weaver (Caitlin Stasey) Smiling In A Body Bag

A synopsis of how Smile (2022) ended, whether a prequel or sequel is possible, and a character guide.

Director(s) Parker Finn
Screenplay By Parker Finn
Based On N/A
Date Released (In Theaters) September 30, 2022
Noted Cast
Rose Cotter Sosie Bacon
Holly Gillian Zinser
Joel Kyle Gallner
Trevor Jessie T. Usher
Mom Dora Kiss
Robert Talley Rob Morgan
Laura Weaver Caitlin Stasey
Dr. Morgan Desai Kal Penn

This content contains spoilers.

Ending Explained and Summarized

Rose thought she took out the entity by facing her Mom, and her trauma and coming out on top. However, that’s not the case. The entity isn’t defeated just because your biggest trauma has become handled. It is seemingly eternal. So despite Joel being there every step of the way, including the investigation going from Laura passing the entity to Rose and meeting Robert Talley, who notes the entity has at least tormented 20 people, he shows up as Rose’s childhood home.

How does he know she is there? Rose showed up at her job, was going to try to do what Robert did and kill someone, a man named Carl, and have her boss, Dr. Morgan Desai be the witness, so the entity would pass to him. However, she couldn’t do it. But, Dr. Desai did catch her in her car, with a knife, ready to do so, and with him unable to stop her and calm her down, because she drove off, the cops were called, and an APB was put out.

Thus leading to Joel, who is a cop, hearing the APB, tracking down Rose, and seeing her set herself on fire, thus allowing the entity to start the timer on when he would end up killing himself. Which at this point, it has never taken longer than seven days.

Is There Sequel/ Prequel Potential?

Yes. Joel is now possessed, the last one to see Rose alive, and likely Trevor and Holly will have questions regarding why she was in the dilapidated family home, why he didn’t stop her from killing herself, and more.

Character Guide

Please Note: This character guide is not an exhaustive list of every cast member, and character descriptions may contain what can be considered spoilers.

Holly (Gillian Zinser)

Holly is Rose’s older sister, and while Rose was suffering with their mother, she was gone. She was building a life for herself, something that, growing up, might have seemed like a fantasy. Though, as shown by a slight distaste for her husband, paired with her own struggles with motherhood, the fantasy didn’t come into this new reality as she thought it would.

  • Other Productions You May The Actor For: Ivy Sullivan in “90210 (2009 – 2012).”

Rose (Sosie Bacon)

Between the childhood trauma of how her mother treated her and being there the moment her mom died, Rose has not been the healthiest person mentally or emotionally. However, after years of therapy and education, she has made herself a doctor working in a psychiatric unit and is on the path to being better and creating what she can deem a normal life.

  • Other Productions You May The Actor For: Carrie Layden in “Mare of Easttown,” and Skye Miller in “13 Reasons Why.”

Joel (Kyle Gallner)

A cop who works out of Newark, NJ, Joel is presented as one of Rose’s first boyfriends who, with her not having the tools to love, pushed him away when things got too serious and he was too close.

  • Other Productions You May The Actor For: Cassidy ‘Beaver’ Casablancas in “Veronica Mars,” Quentin Smith in “Nightmare on Elm Street (2010),” Goat-Winston in “American Sniper,” and Vince Schneider in “Scream (2022).”

Trevor (Jessie T. Usher)

Trevor is Rose’s current fiance who works a lot, like Rose, and because of that, they have a nice house in Pompton Lakes, New Jersey. But, as time passes, and Rose can no longer maintain her side of the pitch-perfect life he envisions for himself, there is a need to question if he is truly ready to marry Rose for better or worse?

  • Other Productions You May The Actor For: Cam Calloway in “Survivor’s Remorse,” JJ Shaft in “Shaft (2019), and A-Train aka Reggie Franklin in “The Boys.”

Mom (Dora Kiss)

Rose and Holly’s mom had issues. It isn’t 100% clear what they were, but she took a lot of medication in hopes of combating what she struggled with. However, one day she took too many, and Rose didn’t get her the help she needed, and thus, she died.

  • Other Productions You May The Actor For: Indigo in “Lifelike,” and Theresa in the future release “The Idol.”

Robert Talley (Rob Morgan)

Robert is the only person of the last 20 the entity has been passed to who lived. Granted, he had to kill someone to do it, but he got to survive the trauma induced by the entity. Because of that, he becomes a person of interest for Rose.

  • Other Productions You May The Actor For: Officer Powell in “Stranger Things.”
  • It’s worth noting that both the person he killed and the witness are dead, yet he is still locked up.

Laura Weaver (Caitlin Stasey)

Laura is the young woman, a Ph.D. candidate, who passed the entity to Rose after violently slashing her own throat in front of her.

  • Other Productions You May The Actor For: Rachel Kinski in “Neighbours,” Kenna de Poitiers in “Reign,” and Isabel Marshall in “Fantasy Island (2021 – ).”

Dr. Morgan Desai (Kal Pen)

Dr. Desai is Rose’s boss at Mount Pleasant Health Alliance.

  • Other Productions You May The Actor For: Dr. Lawrence Kutner in “House,” and Kumar in the “Harold & Kumar” franchise

Carl Renken (Jack Sochet)

Carl is the first patient of Rose that we meet, who appears to be in and out of Mount Pleasant Hospital on a regular basis.

  • Other Productions You May The Actor For: A minor role in “Gotham”

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