“That was always baked into the DNA”: Smile Director Defends Movie’s Horrific Ending as Horror Flick Earns Massive $210M Against Meagre $17M Budget

“That was always baked into the DNA”: Smile Director Defends Movie’s Horrific Ending as Horror Flick Earns Massive $210M Against Meagre $17M Budget

Paramount’s horror film Smile terrified audiences with its gory scenes and violent deaths, earning a massive profit during its run. It tells a gripping narrative that borders on madness, grief, and human psychology.

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Sosie Bacon as Dr. Rose Cotter in Paramount's Smile
Sosie Bacon as Dr. Rose Cotter in Paramount’s Smile

The story begins with Sosie Bacon’s character as the psychiatrist Dr. Rose Cotter. She witnessed one of her patients commit suicide, which, unbeknownst to her, was the start of a horrific curse being passed around.


The doctor investigates further and finds out that she is meant to kill herself in front of someone, the same thing that happened to her patient. This curse will go around unless Cotter kills an innocent person to break the spell.

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Smile Director Explains Grim Movie Ending

The story is more than just a jump-scare flick but is an ode to resolving one’s childhood trauma. Cotter visits her old house to confront the demons that haunt her. She gets several hallucinations, fights off a giant monster, and sets everything on fire – even herself!

Smile Sosie Bacon
Smile on Paramount+

Smile director Parker Finn talked to Slash Film and explained the film’s ending. It has always been the plan to write a horrifying end, and it was just a matter of how.


I knew from early on that the film was going to eventually wind up at its worst possible conclusion. That was always baked into the DNA of the story because it felt like there was just a chance to not necessarily do the thing that maybe audiences are hoping for, that it felt like it was earned through the plot and through the themes of the film.”

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The director also pointed out that in most Hollywood horror films, there will always be happy endings and resolved issues. After terrifying the audience, it often brings them comfort towards the end. Instead of doing the same formula, Finn pulled a trick on the viewers.


There were a lot of different ways that the film was potentially going to get there. I considered a few different routes early on, but at a certain point it got kind of solidified and that was definitely something that was in the script from an early stage.”

Most of Cotter’s scenes are centered around the struggle to face her inner demons and when she finally believes the evil has been defeated, she goes into another round of intense hallucinations. In the end, after she set herself on fire, her ex Joel bursts into the room and witnesses her demise. Thus, passing the curse to him.

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Will There Be A Smile Sequel?

Smile Paramount
Smile director already pitching ideas for sequel

With generally positive reviews and a box office gross of $210M against a $17M budget, there is no doubt that Smile will get a sequel. The plot ended on a bleak yet unresolved note, leaving an opening for a second installment. With Joel as the new possessor of the curse, the story would need a continuation. With the cast aboard for a sequel and director Finn already pitching ideas for Smile 2, fans could only hope for the best.

Smile is available to stream on Paramount Plus.


Source: Screen Rant

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Written by Ariane Cruz

Ariane Cruz, Senior Writer. She has been contributing articles for FandomWire since 2021, mostly covering stories about geek pop culture. With a degree in Communication Arts, she has an in-depth knowledge of print and broadcast journalism. Her other works can also be seen on Screen Rant and CBR.