What Happened at the End of “The Reading”? Dissecting the Puzzling Ending

Written by Courtney Glaude, the movie follows the story of a woman named Emma Leeden who tragically loses her husband and two children in a home invasion, which she details in her new book “Invasion”.

To promote the book, she decides to have a staged psychic reading by Sky Brown, a 19-year-old who claims to have these powers.

However, what no one expects is for Sky’s connection to be a real one. The movie has twists and turns and even a post-credit scene that left viewers questioning what was happening. 

What happens at the end of The Reading?

After all the chaos and killing following Sky’s psychic reading at Emma’s house, we see Sky appearing on the same show Emma did to talk about her experience. The movie ends with her staring straight into the camera as if Emma’s spirit had possessed her. 

Now the big question is, how did this happen?? To answer that, let’s break down everything we know.

What does the ending tell us?

The ending tells us that Emma is still alive but has taken over Sky’s body and is walking around as her. So how does she do this, and for what reason?

A possible explanation is when Emma touches Sky as she’s dying. Since Sky was extremely weak and almost unconscious after their final battle, it might have been easier for Emma to possess her body. There was no way Sky could have fought off her spirit; hence, Emma could take over her body completely.

Now, why does Emma do this?

Throughout the movie, we have scenes of Emma not only ravishing her wealth but subtly complaining about her being much older now. She constantly refers to the college kids as the “youth” and says that her husband took her youth and that she never actually wanted to have children. 

It makes sense that she would want to possess Sky, a 19-year-old girl. She now has a teenager’s body and all the wealth she accumulated after her family’s death. She gets exactly the outcome she wants without anyone catching on to what is going on.

Another giveaway that Emma’s spirit was in Sky’s body is that Sky’s version (or Emma’s rather) of the incident at the house had a few inconsistencies compared to what we witnessed in the entire movie. 

If the ending of this movie left you unsettled, the writers managed to accomplish precisely the result they were hoping for. 

The Events That Led to the Ending

The movie starts with an introduction to Emma Leeden and her family as they get ready for dinner one night. However, things quickly go south when there’s a home invasion, and Emma’s husband, son, and daughter get killed. Emma somehow manages to survive the attack but is left with severe injuries and a speech impediment.

Dissecting the Puzzling Ending of “The Reading”
Emma’s Interview on the Talk Show

Two years later, we see her on a talk show promoting her book “Invasion” and talking about her experience. To generate press for the book, Emma’s publicist suggests they get a staged psychic reading done at Emma’s house.

After this, we are introduced to four college students who do fake psychic readings to make money. Sky Brown is the “psychic” in the group. Although she doesn’t believe she has any supernatural powers, when she almost connects with the spirit of another client, it leaves her questioning herself. Despite this, she decides to do the reading for Emma.

Dissecting the Puzzling Ending of “The Reading”
Emma Leeden

The four kids, Emma, and her publicist meet at the now secured house to do the reading. But what follows next is spine-chilling. Sky manages to make an actual connection with the evil spirits of the place, and she gets possessed by Emma’s daughter’s soul. She then reveals that Emma was the one who killed her family because she wanted to be rich and have a lavish lifestyle.

One by one, Emma kills everyone until it’s just her and Sky left. Towards the end, Sky and Emma battle it in an intense fight scene. Sky bolsters all her strength and finally kills Emma, thus saving herself. 

Post-Credit Scene 

In the post-credit scene of “The Reading”, Sky is back on the same talk show that Emma was originally on after a two-year gap. She goes there to narrate her paranormal experience at Emma’s house.

The movie’s final shot is Sky turning her head towards the camera and staring straight into it. It appears as though she’s been possessed by a spirit, but not just any spirit; it is the spirit of Emma!

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About The Reading

The Reading is a supernatural thriller film written and directed by Courtney Glaude. It was released on February 2, 2023, on BET+. The movie stars Mo’Nique Hicks, Chasity Sereal, and Charnele Brown.

The story revolves around Emma Leeden, who details the loss of her family in her new book “Invasion.” To generate press, she agrees to a staged reading by Sky Brown in her fortified home. But Sky’s spiritual connection is real and evil emerges in a house they can’t get out of.

The rest of the movie follows Sky and her friends as they try to escape from the spirits and avoid being killed.

Epic Dope Staff

Epic Dope Staff

Our talented team of Freelance writers - Always on the lookout - pour their energies into a wide range of topics bringing to our audience what they crave - fun up-to-date news, reviews, fan theories and much much more.


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