The Reading: the supernatural thriller’s ending, explained

The Reading

The Reading is a supernatural movie about a group of friends who go to do a psychic reading which goes horribly and fatally wrong. Let us see what the ending of the movie explains.

The article contains spoilers.

Emma and her terrifying story

Emma Leeden is cooking at her home one evening when an invasion leads to the death of her family- teenage daughter Kendall, young son Kyren and husband Matthew. While Emma too is beaten with even her finger cut off, she miraculously survives.

The scene cuts to the talk show where Emma has come one year later to promote her book, “The Invasion”, based on her story. She’s sympathized with by the host Rachel. We even see how the attack has damaged her speech.

A group of friends and a psychic reading

In the next scene, a girl named Sky is doing a psychic reading. During that, Sky feels a strong aggressive presence trying to push through the barriers of the connection between the real and supernatural world. Later, she tells her boyfriend Greg that if the barrier is passed and a spirit touches her, she’ll be possessed and it has happened before.

Yet, Greg presents the group- consisting of him, Sky, Jessie (the one who monitors Sky’s vitals) and Randy (who’s the camera man)- with an opportunity which will pay them 20 grand. Sky is visibly upset since she’s been vulnerable to him.

But she too needs money. Her and her mother could be evicted any day and they need to pay bills. Her mother, a PhD holder, is intelligent, yet resorts to trading her body for money. Sky is doing this work hidden from her. Hence, she agrees to do this last job.

An eeriness in Emma’s home

It’s Emma’s sister-in-law Ashley that contacted Greg for a reading expecting a gimmick. At their home, the group sees Emma limping. She also explains how she’s setup her house to feel a “fake protection” with an elaborate camera and lock system, a gun and reinforced glass.

They setup in the dining room and Sky connects with the spirits, retelling some things that Emma knows and some details Sky never would’ve known or guessed herself- there are supernatural sounds too. An overwhelmed Emma leaves the room while Sky reveals that things feel different and weird. She is told to stop the reading but she chooses to continue.

The reading suddenly takes a sharp turn

When reconnecting, Sky’s bones start crackling and her body is heavily overpowered by the spirits. She starts enacting the minutes before Matthew’s, Kendall’s and Kyren’s deaths. As her spiked body comes back into consciousness, Emma goes to lock the doors.

Upon being confronted, she asks Sky to tell them all why they can’t leave. Sky reveals that she was the one who killed the 3, not some random burglars. She shoots Greg and he’s badly injured. Next is Ashley’s turn. Seeing this, the friends try to run and hide.

Not only has Emma’s whole demeanor changed, but her speech is perfect and her body is moving swiftly and fluidly.

A bloody game of chase

Slowly, Emma chases the kids around her highly secure house and the first to be killed is Randy, who hides Jessie successfully. Next, Greg and Sky are hiding in Kendall’s room and they see an opening where the mailman is arriving. He tells Sky to run while he distracts Emma.

Sky bumps with Jessie on the way to the windows near the mailbox but their attempts are in vain. They are yet again chased. This time, Greg is shot fatally- multiple times. And as her bullets run out, Emma throws the gun away.

But why did Emma do it?

When questioned about it, Emma says that kids these days are always complaining. She married Matthew for money. But upon knowing thst his business was going down, she planned the murder. She had no attachment with the kids because they were Matthew’s wish, not hers.

Hence, to keep her future secure, she did that. Both Sky and Jessie are shocked at this and plan to take her down. Emma is sitting near the front door, the only place where there’s a signal in the house. That’s where they jump her.

But Jessie is killed by her and Sky runs up but is caught. Luckily, she finds the discarded gun and a missed bullet and when Emma is atop her, she shoots her in the face.

Is Sky able to escape the nightmare?

The pre-credit scene has a voiceover of Rachel asking Sky how she escaped. In the mid-credit scene, Sky is seen replying that it took a lot of tries but she figured the code. When Rachel says that it’s crazy how Emma lied to them 2 years ago in the same place, Sky looks into the camera and resonates “ain’t it?”.

The ending might indicate that when she shot her, Emma’s evil, crazy spirit might’ve possessed Sky’s weak and vulnerable body- as warned earlier. Emma can live her lifestyle, make money off the story but now in a younger, healthy body.