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"Now, you need to listen to me. The world is a hungry place, and a dark place. I’ve only met two or three people like us. They died. When I was a kid, I bumped into these things."
Dan Torrance to Abra
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Doctor Sleep is a 2019 horror film based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name, which is a sequel to The Shining. The film itself is a sequel to Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 film adaptation of The Shining. It was written and directed by Mike Flanagan and stars Ewan McGregor, Kyliegh Curran, and Rebecca Ferguson.

Still scarred by the trauma he endured as a child at the Overlook Hotel, Dan Torrance (McGregor) has fought to find some semblance of peace. But that peace is shattered when he encounters Abra (Curran), a courageous teenager with her own powerful shine. Instinctively recognizing that Dan shares her power, Abra has sought him out, desperate for his help against the merciless Rose the Hat (Ferguson) and her followers, the True Knot, who feed off the shine of innocents in their quest for immortality.

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Forming an unlikely alliance, Dan and Abra engage in a brutal life-or-death battle with Rose and the True Knot. Abra’s innocence and fearless embrace of her shine compel Dan to call upon his own powers as never before – at once facing his fears and reawakening the ghosts of the past.

The film was released on November 8th, 2019.

Previews: Teaser, Trailer.


Doctor Sleep contains examples of:

  • Abandoned Area: The Overlook Hotel became one after Jack's rampage.
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul: In the book, Rose the Hat is part of a polyamorous romance with both Crow Daddy and Snakebite Andi. Here, while Rose and Crow are still romantically linked, Rose has more of a "mentor/pupil" dynamic regarding Andi so as to reflect the similar relationship between Dan and Abra.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: The True Knot as a whole. In the novel, while they usually appear human, their true form is a monstrous kind of Humanoid Abomination with elongated mouths, which they turn into when they feed. The movie shows them as being more conventionally attractive (with the exception of Rose, who's still beautiful), and considerably younger than their book counterparts. King even initially conceived of the True Knot in the book as a group of retirees traveling the country in RVs looking for prey, whereas here they come across more like a mix of New Age Retro Hippies and somewhat wealthy homeless people.
  • Adaptational Badass: The True Knot in general.
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    • Crow Daddy dies the same way as Ombra in Us, being catapulted through a windscreen and into a tree, rather than being forced to turn a gun on himself by Abra's superior mental powers. He dies being taunted by Abra the same way Rose does in the book.
    • Snakebite Andi, rather than screaming the name of her abusive father as she is tortured to death, manages to pull a Taking You with Me and goes out with a smile.
    • Rose is much less easily provoked and manipulated and mostly reacts with Tranquil Fury to the deaths of her comrades. In the final showdown, she effortlessly brushes aside all of Dan and Abra's attempts at tricking or capturing her, corners Dan on the stairs in the same way his father did his mother in the book and while in the book she was taken down by the combined efforts of Dan, Abra and Jack Torrance, in this, Dan unleashes all of the monsters of the Overlook Hotel from their prison in his mind and they consume her before turning their attention to him.
  • Adaptational Name Change: Somewhat. One of the True Knot members, Barry, is nicknamed "Barry the Chunk" as opposed to his much more racist nickname in the novel. In the novel, he calls himself "Barry the Chink". He wasn't Chinese though, he was a Caucasian man with "slanted" eyes hence the name. Abra does refer to him as Barry the Chunk in the novel, however.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: Dick Hallorann's abusive grandfather isn't implied to have molested him here like he did in the novel.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • In the novel, Jack Torrance's spirit helps Abra and Danny to kill Rose. In the movie, he appears inside the hotel bar, having seemingly taken Lloyd's place, and tells him to "take his medicine" like Kubrick's Jack did in the original movie. It does tie into the Adaptational Villainy he received in Kubrick's version of The Shining, in which he was a fundamentally unpleasant man as opposed to the tortured but well-meaning father and husband he was in the novel. Dan may have been speaking to the hotel itself, which might have been using his father's form. Even the subtitles call him Lloyd rather then Jack.
    • Snakebite Andi is stripped of her backstory of having been repeatedly molested by her father, thus making her come off as a far more spiteful and despicable character. Her repeated line of, "Fucking men," does imply some kind of abuse in her history, though, and she did lure a man who enjoys underage girls as a form of retribution against their type.
  • Adaptation Deviation: Because the Overlook Hotel was destroyed at the end of King's version of The Shining, the climax of the original book took place at a campground where the hotel once stood. But since this film follows Kubrick's version of The Shining, the Overlook is still standing (albeit abandoned). At the climax, this version of the Overlook succumbs to the same fate as its literary counterpart.
  • Adapted Out:
    • Abra's great-grandmother Concetta, who served an important role in the climax of the novel, makes no appearances here aside from a direct mention about Abra's mother going to see her, and the final confrontation unfolds very differently.
    • Horace Derwent, due to his Demoted to Extra status in the first movie, doesn't follow Dan home, nor does he appear as Dan's secret weapon like he did in the novel. He is, however, among the Overlook ghosts that kill Rose during the climax and then go on to possess Dan.
  • Adult Fear:
    • The hospice scenes, being in part largely based around the Primal Fear of Dying Alone.
    • A large part of Dan's character arc is his struggle to remain sober in the face of his past trauma and family's history of alcoholism. Most notably, there's a scene near the third act of the film where Dan is contemplating falling off the wagon after Abra is kidnapped that virtually any former alcoholic or even relative of a former alcoholic will likely find hard to watch.
    • Whenever the True Knot is attacking and hunting children.
  • Age Lift: Inverted. Snakebite Andi is made significantly younger than her book counterpart, going from her early thirties to 15 at the film's start.
  • Agony of the Feet: When Rose is trapped by Abra in her own mind, she tries to escape but finds her feet stuck to the floor, so much so that she leaves skin-colored prints when she takes a step and it appears to visibly hurt to lift her feet.
  • Anyone Can Die: With an even higher body count than its predecessor, this film goes out of its way to show you how much higher the stakes are this time around. This is actually pretty different from the original novel, where several key characters survive.
  • Ascended Extra: Lorraine Massey, aka The Woman in Room 237, gets a slightly larger role here than she did in the novel, presumably because she's arguably one of the most iconic ghosts from the original movie.
  • Asshole Victim: Snakebite Andi is introduced having lured a Dirty Old Man into a meeting in a theater, only to compel him go sleep so she can carve a snakebite into his cheek. She follows this up with a further command for him to call himself a paedophile every time he sees it in the mirror. Interestingly, unlike usual examples of this trope Andi is portrayed as little better, as she's soon persuaded to become a member of the True Knot, which not only preys on children, but tortures them.
  • Astral Projection: People with the strongest psychic talents can project their own consciousness anywhere in the world. Rose the Hat is able to track down Abra's house this way, only to be Lured into a Trap.
  • Badass Boast: In the film's climax, Rose the Hat tells Abra that "Yes, you run, dear. And then I will find you, and then you will scream for years until you die."
  • Bait-and-Switch Gunshot: When Andi has Dan at gunpoint, a shot is heard and the next scene reveals that Bill shot Andi.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The True Knot are killed, thus saving untold numbers of innocent children with the Shine from being targeted, and the Overlook Hotel is also destroyed this time around in a style similar to the original book's ending, meaning that its ghosts can (likely) not plague the world anymore. However, the latter comes at the cost of Danny's life and Bradley (the Baseball Boy), Billy and Abra's father Dave are all dead. There is also the implication that Rose wasn't actually the last of the True Knot thus meaning that more could arise to hunt Abra down. Really, one of the only cemented positives is that Danny takes on the role of a spiritual adviser in a vein similar to Hallorann for Abra.
  • Black Bug Room: Danny has one of those, which naturally is inspired by the Overlook Hotel. It is a wintry, hellish, and exaggerated version of the Overlook's hedge labyrinth in which he's also locked the ghosts who were chasing after him.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Well, first of our protagonists, anyway. Crow Daddy kills David off-screen before abducting Abra. He doesn't get much screen time or development before he's dispatched, either.
  • Book-Ends: Danny learns how to trap the Woman in Room 237 in his mind from Hallorann. In the final segment of the film, Abra does the same when she follows her home.
  • Boom, Headshot!: How Snakebite Andi makes Billy kill himself.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: Little Danny wets himself in fear when the Woman in Room 237 turns the bathroom door handle.
  • Call-Back: Several nods to The Shining can be first seen in just the teaser trailer.
    • Dan once again sees "Redrum"note  showing up on the blackboard wall to his room in Frazier.
    • Room 237 and its inhabitant, as well as the Grady Twins and the hallway full of blood once again appear in both a flashback and on the return visit to the Overlook.
    • The office where Dr. Dalton talks with Dan is an almost exact replica of the office where Ullman interviews Jack in The Shining.
    • When Azzie the cat alerts Dan to his first patient at the hospice, he interrupts Dan from reading the same 1978 copy of Playgirl that his father was reading while waiting for his interview at the Overlook to start.
    • The Oner from the opening shot of the original film, along with the two following shots of the car driving up the mountain road, are directly transferred over and re-used here, albeit being degrained, recolored as day-for-night, and having snow digitally added.
    • Dan returns to the Overlook Hotel and sticks his head through the hole his father hacked into a bathroom door.
    • The entire confrontation between Rose and Dan on the stairs of the Colorado Lounge at the very end of the film is an inverse of the similar scene between Wendy and Jack Torrance in the prior film. In the original, Jack stalked his wife up the stairs as she tried to hold him off with a baseball bat. Here, it's Danny who retreats up the stairs while using an axe to try and fend off Rose.
  • Catapult Nightmare:
    • Little Danny rises in his bed early on after a bad dream.
    • Abra does it when she wakes from shining the murder of the Baseball Boy.
  • Central Theme: Suffering and how people learn to move past it. Both Danny and Abra get put through a veritable emotion wringer over the course of the film, and the film is partly about how they learn to handle their pain and use it to help better themselves. Meanwhile, the True Knot are portrayed as an evil Ragtag Bunch of Misfits from all walks of life who literally benefit from the suffering of others. Additionally, a large portion of the film involves both the struggle of alcoholics fighting to remain sober in the face of their Dark and Troubled Pasts and the patients of a hospice slowly passing away while trying to cope with chronic pain.
  • Chekhov's Army: The spirits of the Overlook are locked away in Danny's mind boxes with the help of the Spirit!Halloran early on. In the final act, they are released at the Overlook Hotel and effortlessly kill Rose for the obscene amount of steam she's injested for the final battle.
  • Collapsing Lair: Dan destroys the Overlook Hotel by making the boiler explode.
  • Comfort the Dying: Danny works part-time as a worker in a hospice and spends the nights comforting the old patients who will die soon.
  • Creepy Souvenir: It can be hard to notice at first glance, but virtually all of the "accessories" that Rose the Hat is wearing aside from her Nice Hat are trinkets from various children she had previously killed. Easily the most notable is the bike chain she has woven into her hair.
  • Creepy Twins: The Grady Twins from the first film make another appearance, with them appearing in the climax among the Overlook ghosts that first kill Rose and then possess Danny.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Billy and Dan ambush almost the entirety of the True Knot and wipe them out despite being heavily outnumbered. The only consolation prize the True Knot gets is that Snakebite Andi forces Billy to shoot himself before succumbing to her wounds and Abra is temporarily captured.
    • Rose the Hat vs. the ghosts of the Overlook Hotel. She goes down quick after they're unleashed.
  • Cutting the Electronic Leash: After making a final call to her mother, Abra throws her phone out of the car in order to avoid being traced.
  • Darker and Edgier: The film is far more graphic and violent than both the book and the first book's film adaptation that it follows.
  • Death by Adaptation:
    • Dan dies in the film when he stays behind in the hotel after overloading the boiler, just like Jack in the original novel version of The Shining.
    • Abra's father Dave and Dan's friend Billy Freeman both die during the fight with the True Knot.
    • A weird example with the Overlook itself — it was blown up sky-high in the original Shining novel but was Spared by the Adaptation in the film (the climax of the Doctor Sleep novel still happens where the Overlook was, but the site was turned into a park). So Danny gets to finish the job.
  • Death of a Child: The True Knot specifically target children and kill two in the movie, with one's death graphically presented onscreen.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • Dr. John Dalton only appears in a couple of brief scenes at the start, whereas in the book, he joins Dan and Billy in springing the ambush on the True Knot.
    • Many of the True Knot members suffer from this; where the book gave them all personalities, and explored their dynamic with each other, here, most of them are simply treated as nameless Mooks.
  • Disney Death: Subverted. It looks like Dan somehow survived the fire at the hotel until it's revealed that he actually has turned into a Spirit Advisor for Abra.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • There's a lot of unsettling pedophilia undertones for any scene involving the True Knot hunting for/abducting children with the Shine so they can feed.
    • During the climax of the film as Rose tortures Dan and feeds on his Shine, the scene is shot to be reminiscent of a rape scene complete with looks of near-orgasmic ecstasy for the former and terrified defiance for the latter.
  • Door Handle Scare: There's lots of these in the film. For instance, early on little Danny is so scared by the Woman in Room 237 in the bathroom slowly turning the doorknob that he wets himself.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Danny is introduced as a drunk wreck after the first time skip. He later explains why he ended up like this, as the trauma of the Overlook never quite left him and he had to see his mother die.
  • Dying as Yourself: Danny is possessed by the Overlook and chases after Abra for a brief time before she reminds the Overlook that Danny tampered with the boiler room before. In a panic, the possessed Danny returns to the room but is too late to save itself, letting Danny free before the hotel goes up in flames
  • Eldritch Location: The Overlook Hotel returns in the climax, and here its more supernatural elements are expanded upon in comparison to its incarnation in the preceding film. More specifically, it's all but stated to be a Genius Loci, with the ghosts haunting its grounds only being the "faces" it puts on to interact with the living.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
    • Despite their horrible actions, the True Knot are really a tight-knit group. When Grandpa Flick dies of old age, Rose takes the time to comfort him, reminding him of his happy and very long life consuming people. That said, when Flick dies for good, the group greedily feeds on his Steam.
    • Two of their group appear to be in a close relationship, and when one of them gets shot during the ambush the other runs towards her.
    • Possibly averted with Jack (if that is really his spirit at the Overlook Hotel). When Danny tells him about Wendy's death, he shows no concern or sorrow over the news and instead continues to try and tempt Danny into drinking. Danny even calls him out for this.
  • Everytown, America: The town of Frazier, New Hampshire, where most of the second act of the film takes place.
  • Evil Can Not Comprehend Good: Rose tells Abra how with time, Abra will become like her while Abra has Rose on the ropes in another mind trap. Nevermind that Abra and Dan are only interested in eliminating child predators who prey on children with the Shining and the duo would never perform such acts. It never occurred to Rose that there are very few people willing to become literal child predators for pseudo-immortality.
  • Eviler Than Thou: The Overlook Hotel proves to be far more malevolent and powerful than the True Knot, handily killing Rose the Hat before possessing Dan to try and kill Abra.
  • Evil Plan:
    • The True Knot want to track Abra so they can torture her to death and feast on her Shine.
    • After being reawakened by Danny so its ghosts can kill Rose the Hat, the Overlook Hotel possesses him so it can use him to kill Abra and feast on both of their Shines, allowing it to expand its corrupting influence beyond the hotel grounds.
  • Evil Takes a Nap: The Overlook Hotel has become dormant after so many years without having anyone to feed off in its vicinity; unlike the ghosts in Dan's mind, it's not locked away, just sleeping. Dan has to go inside to wake it up.
  • Eyeless Face: Abra creeps out Rose the Hat after temporarily trapping her in her mind by appearing before her with no eyes and green hair.
  • Fan Disservice:
    • As with the preceding film, the Woman in Room 237.
    • We get a relatively brief shot of a naked Ewan McGregor at one point jumping up from a bed... as he rushes to the restroom and then vomits in the toilet.
  • Fighting from the Inside: While possessed by the Overlook Hotel's Genius Loci, Dan briefly emerges to desperately tell Abra to run and eventually frees himself just before the hotel's boiler explodes and the building burns to the ground.
  • Final Boss: The Overlook Hotel serves as this for the climax after Rose the Hat is killed off.
  • Fingore: When going through Abra's "mental filing cabinets", Rose has a drawer slam shut, trapping her hand. She only escapes by having the flesh ripped off the back of her hand and fingers. The injury stays with her in the real world, too.
  • Flashback Cut: Dan has a swift flashback to Wendy in the hotel's bathroom when he looks through the crack in the door that his father left there with his ax.
  • Flies Equals Evil: Dan mentions that he could tell when people are about to die by the presence of flies around them.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: Darkly subverted; The Overlook Hotel (possibly) takes the form of Jack Torrance when Danny visits so as to cruelly mock him and try to encourage him to fall off the wagon concerning his sobriety.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • When Abra's looking at the missing person's report regarding the Baseball Boy, it states that he disappeared on September 21st. That's the same day as Stephen King's birthday.
    • Crow Daddy's pistol holster was one used by Union Army Cavalry officers for Colt Model 1860 revolvers. This is a reference to the novel, when it was hinted Crow Daddy was originally a tracker for the Union Army during the American Civil War.
    • When Dan is walking to the Overlook Hotel's Gold Room near the end of the film, the Lasser Glass mirror from Flanagan's own Oculus can be seen hanging in the hallway on the right.
  • Genre Mashup: Horror, Psychological, Adventure, Supernatural, Thriller, and Dark Fantasy.
  • Genre Shift: Unlike The Shining before it, which was more of an intense psychological horror film with a potentially supernatural twist, Doctor Sleep is a melancholic psychological thriller with clear supernatural elements.
  • Ghost Reunion Ending: When Dan is inside the exploding hotel at the end, he turns into a child and is reunited with his mother. He later appears again as an adult in Abra's room. It's briefly left vague if he somehow survived or came back as a ghost. The latter turns out to be true.
  • Godzilla Threshold: To trap Rose the Hat, Danny decides to pit her against the Overlook Hotel, which is similarly predatory, but far more dangerous. The final act sees him lures her there with Abra in tow for their ultimate battle.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Abra doesn't just defend herself from Rose and the True Knot, she even takes the time to tell them they deserve the pain they're feeling.
  • Gorn: Rose has the skin torn off of most of her left hand due to a trap Abra sets for her in her mind.
  • Heartbeat Soundtrack: Throughout the movie, the tempo of the heartbeat is used to increase or decrease tension. Prime example is the death of the Baseball Boy where the heartbeat sound slows down and comes to a halt as the life force escapes his body.
  • Hell Hotel: Despite being abandoned, the Overlook Hotel is still powerful enough that the ghosts savagely attack and ultimately possess Dan.
  • The Hero Dies: Dan dies in order to defeat both the True Knot and the Overlook Hotel.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Danny sacrifices his life to save Abra and destroy the Overlook Hotel for good by letting the boiler overheat and burn the place down.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: The Overlook becomes the final threat of the film, killing Rose and possessing Dan to try and kill Abra.
  • Homage:
    • The film's opening scene where Rose the Hat is able to lure in the little girl Violet with pretty flowers before she and the rest of the True Knot devour her is one to the famous lakeside scene in Frankenstein, where Frankenstein's Monster befriends a little girl with flowers before (accidentally) drowning her in the lake.
    • The film's ending has Danny being possessed by the Overlook until he briefly regains his senses and tells Abra to run away from the hotel. He then makes a Heroic Sacrifice by ensuring the boiler overheats and burns the Overlook down. All of the aforementioned events are almost exactly how the novel version of The Shining ended.
  • Hope Spot: Abra and Danny trick Rose into getting lost in the latter's mind, with Abra trying to distract Rose for long enough that Danny can use his "suitcase" method to trap the last member of the True Knot. Unfortunately, Rose eventually realizes that she isn't actually in Abra's mind, with her then shattering the suitcase that Danny sent to imprison her and freeing herself from their trap.
  • Humanoid Abomination: The True Knot. They're psychic quasi-vampires that must feed on the psychic talent of others, causing their eyes and mouths to pulse with an ugly blue light while feeding. They also age incredibly slowly for as long as they regularly feed and have their own various psychic talents that are further enhanced by their dietary habits. Finally, they dissolve into Steam (the "essence" of the Shine) when killed, with their bodies violently "cycling" between being in a state of non-existence and decomposition beforehand.
  • The Hunter Becomes the Hunted:
    • How Rose's plan to invade Abra's mind ends up playing within few seconds.
    • When the entire "family" goes for Abra, in reality they are stepping into a shooting gallery prepared by Dan and Billy, while Abra herself was just an illusion.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Abra helps Dan fight back against the Overlook ghosts that are possessing him.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink:
    • Danny needed so many of them to get over what he can see, the story opens with him as an alcoholic.
    • After Abra shows her dad the murder of Bradley, along with allowing him to feel it, next shot is of David pouring himself a glass of whiskey with shaking hands. He downs it instantly. Then he pours another.
  • Immune to Mind Control: Snakebite Andi tries to use her Compelling Voice on the True Knot when they pursue her. While it works on Crow, it doesn't work on their leader Rose. Luckily for Andi, they were planning to recruit her, not eat her.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Dan and Abra form one over the film's course.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: It took a whopping 39 years after being Spared by the Adaptation, but the audience is told that the Overlook Hotel was shut down for good after Jack Torrance's rampage, and the film climaxes with Danny finishing the job.
  • Karmic Death: Rose the Hat, the leader of a group of supernatural Serial Killers who feast on the Shines of their victims, is herself consumed by the myriad of starving Shine-desiring spirits haunting the Overlook.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • Danny steals money from a woman who takes him home from a bar early in the film. Danny's guilt over doing this drives him to turn his life around and put an end to his alcoholism.
    • Barry the Chunk lures Bradley the Baseball Kid by complimenting his baseball playing skills, only to cruelly mock him later on when he and the True Knot torture, feed on, and ultimately murder him.
    • Snakebite Andi forces Billy to kill himself in a final act of spite. Additionally, before that, she lured a man into her presence, hypnotized him with her voice, then carved a "snake bite" pattern into his face, robbing him afterward (though admittedly he had it coming since he was a pedophile). It's implied this is nowhere near the first person she's done this to, either.
    • Rose the Hat twists her fingers in Dan's leg wound during the climax as she tries to feed off of his Shine.
  • Logo Joke: In an Homage to the original film and tying in to the prologue set in 1980, the film uses the Warner Bros. shield from that era.
  • Lured into a Trap: The protagonists set up several traps for the True Knot.
    • When Rose seeks out Abra's sleeping mind through Astral Projection to extract information from it, Abra was already waiting for her, trapping her hand in a file cabinet so she can peruse Rose's mind for information instead.
    • Dan and Abra set up a trap for most of the True Knot by planting a psychic image of Abra onto an ordinary stuffed rabbit to lure them to a remote campsite were Dan and Billy take them out with hunting rifles.
    • In the climax, Dan and Abra go to the Overlook Hotel, knowing that Rose will follow them. They attempt to trap her spirit in Dan's mind first, but when that fails, they are forced to awaken the far more dangerous Hotel to devour her.
  • Madness Mantra: Abra can only half-hysterically sob "They killed him!" to her parents after she experiences the horrific torture and death of Baseball Boy at the hands of the True Knot.
  • The Magic Goes Away: The True Knot haven't been eating well for a while and, as Crow Daddy argues, the world has grown less "Steamy" for reasons none of them know.
  • The Maze: Just like in The Shining, the climax takes place in the hotel's hedge maze where Rose gets confronted by Dan and Abra.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • The cat that lives at the hospice where Dan works and which always seems to know when one of the residents will die is named "Azzie." As in, Azrael, the Angel of Death in Islam.
    • A downplayed case; One of the film's protagonists who has Psychic Powers (Abra) has a name reminiscent of "abracadabra," a word popularly associated with stage magic. She even suggests the word when a party magician asks for a magic word.
  • Men Are the Expendable Gender: The True Knot captures three children over the course of the movie, one girl gets a Gory Discretion Shot and the other (Abra) is rescued. The only boy, meanwhile, is brutally tortured and murdered on-screen.
  • Memory Palace: Rose the Hat projects her mind Abra's while she sleeps. Seeing her memories as a series of filing cabinets in her bedroom, Rose tries to open them... Only to find herself trapped as Abra speed-reads through Rose's memories instead (Rose's palace is shown as a huge library signifying her ancient life).
  • Mental World: People with the Shine, like Danny, Abra, and Rose the Hat all have their own elaborate mindscapes that other Shiners can traverse through so as to hunt for valuable information.
  • Mind Screwdriver: In a sense, at least, with Doctor Sleep making it clear that a lot of the potentially magical Mind Screw elements of the previous film were explicitly the result of supernatural events. At the same time though, many other key ambiguities about the first film are preserved, namely Jack's connection to the Overlook (specifically how he could've "always been the Caretaker"), how big of a role the Overlook played in Jack's descent into insanitynote , what caused the hotel to become a Genius Loci in the first place, and the nature of the 1921 photograph with Jack in it. In fact, Jack's appearance as Lloyd the bartender throws even further mystery into the Overlook and especially its relationship with Jack.
  • Mistaken for Pedophile: Discussed. When Abra tracks down Dan, he points out that people might get the wrong idea about a teenage girl meeting a stranger in a park. She tells him that if anyone asks, she'll say he's her uncle. Later, after Abra tries to tell her father about everything that's happened, he just thinks that "Uncle Dan" groomed and molested her. She has to psychically force the information into his mind to convince him.
  • Monstrous Cannibalism: To show how inhuman they have become, the members of the True Knot greedily consume the Steam emanating from Grandpa after he dies.
  • Moody Trailer Cover Song:
    • The latter half of the trailer utilizes a cover of “Dream a Little Dream of Me” by Think Up Anger.
    • The final trailer makes use of an brass-heavy version of "Dies Irae", the main theme from the previous film.
  • Muggles Do It Better:
    • Despite their supernatural powers, the True Knot are just as vulnerable to regular guns as anybody else. Any muggle who manages to get the drop on them with a rifle can take them out with ease. Dan and Billy eliminate most of them this way during an ambush.
    • Similarly, despite being a powerful Eldritch Location, the Overlook Hotel is just as flammable as any other old building. Overload the boilers until they explode and the whole thing will go up in flames.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The room number in the hospice where Dan first helps someone pass on in peace is "217." This is a reference to how the Overlook's haunted hotel room number was "217" in the original book version of The Shining, and it was changed to "237" in the Kubrick film on behalf of the Timberline Lodge (where the majority of the film was shot).
    • Abra gives Dan the Affectionate Nickname of "Uncle Dan." As noted under Unrelated in the Adaptation, Dan actually was her uncle in the original novel version of Doctor Sleep.
    • Abra's family has "1980" as part of their home address. Stanley Kubrick's version of The Shining was originally released in 1980.
    • When Dan is talking to the Overlook version of Jack Torrance in the Gold Room, Overlook!Jack/"Lloyd" tells Dan that alcohol is "the medicine" to life's misfortunes. This can be seen as a subtle allusion to the original book version of The Shining, where Jack often threatened Danny by warning him "You're gonna take your medicine!"
    • The film's climax is a (more or less) close retelling of the climax to the original book version of The Shining, with Dan replacing Jack and Abra replacing Danny.
    • Snakebite Andi is watching Casablanca in the movie theater here instead of Raiders of the Lost Ark like she was in the original novel. This is likely because Casablanca is Mike Flanagan's favorite film.
    • Dan's outfit in the climax of the film is an exact copy of Jack's from the final act of Kubrick's version of The Shining; the injuries he sustains while fighting Rose also reflect the wounds Jack sustained from Wendy fighting him off, with both of these heavily foreshadowing Dan's possession by the Overlook and similar Axe-Crazy rampage against Abra.
  • Never Be a Hero: When Abra tried to ask Dan for his help in stopping the True Knot's killings, Dan tells her to just let it go or they'll come for her.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    • By springing a trap inside of her own mind for Rose, Abra puts the True Knot on their guard about her power level. This results in two very bad outcomes:
      • Rose stays behind instead of going with the other to capture Abra, meaning that she is free to come after Abra and Dan after powering up.
      • Crow doesn't go with the group to the park, so he survives the ambush and kills Abra's father, then captures her.
    • Additionally, while it was a Godzilla Threshold that had to be crossed so as to get rid of Rose the Hat once and for all, Danny "waking up" the Overlook Hotel and freeing its imprisoned ghosts results in the Overlook possessing him and almost killing Abra so as to gain possession of their Shines.
  • Not Afraid of You Anymore: At the beginning, Dick's spirit teaches Danny a neat trick to ward off the ghosts chasing after him. He imagines a box and locks them inside said psychic box forever. While Danny soils himself when encountering the woman from Room 237 for the first time since the Overlook, he then calmly locks her with him in the bathroom to properly imprison her.
  • Not So Different: During their confrontation at the hedge maze, Rose notes that the only difference between her and Abra is time. Additionally, the scene where Rose comforts Grandpa Flick as he dies is intentionally shot to be look similar to Dan comforting the terminal patients in the hospice he works at. Rose is oblivious to the fact that Abra and Dan are hunting homicidal child predators, so it's more like Evil Can Not Comprehend Good.
  • The Older Immortal: Grandpa Flick, the Monster Progenitor of the True Knot and their oldest extant member. While not quite at the level of his book counterpoint (who was able to remember back to when Europeans worshiped trees), he watched gladiators kill each other in Rome, was one of the first people in all of Europe to ever visit the New World, and he's all but stated to be the inspiration for the proto-myth of the vampire itself. In contrast, most of the other members of the True Knot are considerably younger, with Rose the Hat being "only" 700 years old according to her actress Rebecca Ferguson), and Crow Daddy is just around 150 years old since he joined the True Knot around the time of the American Civil War.
  • One-Liner, Name... One-Liner: Dan while giving a prep talk to Abra in the epilogue:
    "Shine on, Abra Stone. (Beat) You shine on."
  • People Puppets: A heroic example in which Dan uses his powers to willingly possess Abra when she's kidnapped by Crow Daddy. He then uses Abra's immense psychic strength to kill Crow.
  • Poke in the Third Eye: Abra attempts to spy on the True Knot by projecting herself into their minds. However, Rose knows she's being watched, and tries to reverse the spying before being rejected by the more powerful Abra.
    • And then there is the sheer damage Abra does to Rose when defending her mind, which not only leaves Rose terrified, but physically maimed.
  • Polite Villains, Rude Heroes: While Rose and Crow make the occasional nasty comment, they are mostly at least Faux Affably Evil and insisting that their trying to kill and eat people is nothing personal but just a means to an end. The heroes, in contrast, take every opportunity to taunt the True Knot and the Overlook ghosts and to gloat shamelessly whenever things go badly for them.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: Like its predecessor, the movie streamlines a lot of the source material and adapts it for a visual medium. Many of the changes from the novel are also because it's a sequel to the Kubrick movie, which made some of the plot points from the novel impractical or downright impossible. Most notably, the Overlook Hotel is still standing in the adaptation, since it is following the events of Kubrick's movie.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: "They're not special... they're starving."
  • Prophet Eyes: Dan and Abra sometimes get those when using their Shine-based powers. So do the Overlook Hotel's ghosts just before overwhelming and consuming Rose the Hat near the end of the movie.
  • Psychic-Assisted Suicide: Snakebite Andi forces Billy to kill himself with his gun by using her voice powers. All this while she's dying and Danny is watching.
  • Psychic Nosebleed: Happens to Dan, Abra and Rose due to exhaustive Shinings activity.
  • Ragnarök Proofing: The Overlook Hotel has been abandoned for several years, if not decades. Despite this, Dan is able to turn on the boilers immediately, without refueling them or doing any maintenance. Possibly Hand Waved as the result of the Hotel being an Eldritch Location.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • The True Knot are quasi-immortal serial killers. However, the emphasis here is on "quasi-immortal"; they can still be hurt and even killed. And since they exclusively target children that they can physically overpower, they never consider Abra or any potential allies she might have a threat until she lures most of them into a trap, allowing Dan and Billy to pick them off in a hilariously one-sided gunfight. To wit: they're all using pistols and blindly firing in Dan and Billy's general direction, while Dan and Billy are hiding uphill, behind trees, and using scoped hunting rifles.
    • Similarly, in the previous film, it's mentioned that the past tragedies of the Overlook Hotel made it increasingly harder for the management to get anyone to keep working there and they were slowly going out of business. So it isn't that much of a surprise when it turns out that after Jack Torrance's breakdown in The '80s, the place was finally seen as too much of a hassle to keep running and so was closed down in this film. In reality, a Hell Hotel like the Overlook or other similarly haunted location wouldn't be able to keep running for any notable length of time after a series of high-profile murders and would get shut down.
    • Adding to the above, in the novel the Overlook's destruction allowed Wendy and Halloran to cover up Jack's rampage, saying he died heroically. It helped he was more sympathetic and never killed anyone. As the movie Overlook and therefore the evidence of Jack's rampage was never destroyed, as well as Jack murdering Halloran, his crimes became public knowledge.
  • Remake Cameo: Danny Lloyd, who played the character Danny Torrance in The Shining, makes a cameo in this movie at the baseball game.
  • Sealed Inside a Person-Shaped Can: The method Hallorann teaches Danny to deal with hostile, predatory spirits: create a perfect adult-sized replica of a box with a latch inside his own mind, shove the spirit in and lock it. The spirit is effectively neutralized and sealed inside the mind of a person. Danny used this technique to imprison almost all the ghosts of the Overlook.
  • Sequel Hook: Rose the Hat mentions that she is "just" the prettiest of her kind, not the last, implying that other psychics like her are feeding on children with the Shining.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Hallorann and little Danny sitting on a bench and the former character handing over a box resembles the "Life is like a box of chocolate" scene from Forrest Gump.
    • As Dan tries to comfort one of the hospice patients as he dies, he and the patient sing "Come Fly With Me" together.
    • Several RWBY posters appear in Abra's bedroom with an Emerald figurine beside her bed. Her mental projection while ambushing Rose the Hat in her mind even has Emerald’s hair.
    • Snakebite Andi is introduced watching Casablanca in an old-fashioned movie theater.
    • When talking to Andi in private, Rose describes Andi's Compelling Voice powers as her being a "pusher."
    • When Abra rides the bus into Frasier, one of the street signs she passes while trying to evade a mysterious monster that preys on children and can stalk others through their dreams is called "Elm Street."
    • The film also has lots of references to The Dark Tower. What makes this particularly interesting is that this marks the second Stephen King adaptation that Mike Flannagan has directed which references The Dark Tower where its original source material did not.
      • When Dick Hallorann and Dan meet in the hospice room, Dick says that "Ka is a wheel, doc." Additionally, the word "ka" can be seen spelled out with Abra's toys on the shelf behind her bed.
      • When Snakebite Andi is leaving the theater, a poster can be seen advertising "Joe Collins Live!". This is a reference to Joe Collins (a.k.a. Dandelo), an emotional vampire featured in The Dark Tower who feeds on laughter instead of fear like the True Knot does.
      • The Baseball Boy’s number is 19, and all the buses bear a reference to Tet.
      • When the True Knot abduct the Baseball Boy, they take him to an abandoned factory run by LaMerk Industries, a corporation responsible for making several robots and cyborgs prominently featured in The Dark Tower.
      • A drawing of a rose can been seen stuck to the Stone family's refrigerator, and a rose stalk is positioned above Abra's bed. Roses are an important Arc Symbol in The Dark Tower, being representations of the titular Dark Tower itself throughout The Multiverse.
    • Dan as a ghost tells Abra that sometimes people need to take a stand against the horrors of the world.
    • When Abra traps Rose the Hat's hand in a drawer in her mind, Rose is forced to nearly tear all the skin off her hand in order to escape. Director Mike Flanagan's last film, Gerald's Game (which was also a Stephen King adaptation), also featured a woman who had to do the exact same thing to escape her predicament.
    • During Rose and Abra's fight, Abra's mental projections make it look similar to the library filing system in one's mind as seen in the film version of Dreamcatcher.
  • Silent Credits: After "Midnight, the Stars and You" plays over the first half of the end credits, the second half remains silent with only the sound of wind.
  • Stress Vomit: Bill vomits after seeing the exhumed corpse of the Baseball Boy.
  • Summon Bigger Fish: How do you stop a powerful and vengeful psychic vampire - filled to the brim with canisters of fresh Steam from her prior victims - who will stop at nothing to hunt you down? Lure her to the only other more powerful, more hungry psychic entity you can think of: the Overlook Hotel.
  • Supernaturally Delicious and Nutritious: The True Knot members sustain themselves by eating the Shine that people possess. It comes out as a puffs of smoke than they can inhale and even put in canisters for later consumption. While they prefer the Shine of children, which is stated to purer (according to Rose the Hat, age and other life experiences "pollutes" the Shine), they can eat the Shine of adults as well.
  • Tempting Fate: When Andi finally confronts Abra and apparently puts her to sleep, she comments that she thought that was going to be harder. As soon as the words are out of her mouth, she realizes that the True Knot fell for a decoy and Dan and Billy spring their trap.
  • 13 Is Unlucky: Dan beats the shit out of another man at the bar armed with a #13 pool ball before he fully reaches rock bottom concerning his alcoholism.
  • Time Skip: The movie has two. First is the jump from a child Danny to an adult one who arrives and settles down in Frazier, New Hampshire, while a local girl named Abra discovers her own Shining. Then a second time skip jumps over 8 years, during which Danny has the time to overcome his alcoholism and Abra grows into an adolescent and exercises her Shine.
  • Title Drop: The first patient in the hospice that Danny comforts affectionately calls him "Doctor Sleep" due to how soothing and friendly Danny is with him as he helps him pass on in peace.
  • Trash the Set: The Overlook Hotel is blown up sky-high at the end of the film, courtesy of Danny explosively overclocking its boiler.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Rose the Hat is so full of herself that she can't see Abra as anything else than a child to be devoured... even when Abra easily captures her in a trap and reverse the memory search on her, while having Rose at her mercy.
  • Unknown Rival: The True Knot in general and Rose in particular, are completely unaware of Dan's existence, powers and efforts to help Abra. This allows Dan to catch them almost entirely by surprise and wipe them all out by the end of the film.
  • Unrelated in the Adaptation: In the novel, Abra's mother, Lucy, was the result of her mother having an affair with Jack Torrance, possibly during the period Jack and Wendy had a brief separation as mentioned in the first book, meaning that Dan actually is Abra's uncle. This is not present in the movie, possibly since most of the novel's exposition and supporting cast was either cut or Demoted to Extra. Word of God from Mike Flanagan mentions that the change was also influenced by a desire to make the Shining seem more like something anyone could have as opposed to a bloodline-based inheritance. However, he also noted that there's enough ambiguity and lack of comment either way in the film to leave the relationship remain possible.
  • Urban Fantasy: The film is about an older psychic and his younger charge fighting against a group of ancient vampire-analogues. However, it's also set in the modern-day United States, and modern technology such as cell phones, hunting rifles, and even computer labs are used by the characters as they try to stay one step ahead of the other.
  • The Villain Knows Where You Live: While they lack exact address, True Knot learn town's and street's name and know how Abra's house looks.
  • Villainous Rescue: Danny defeats Rose by unlocking his mental boxes while at the Overlook, freeing the ghosts in his mind to feast on her powers and completely destroy her.
  • Villains Out Shopping: A literal example. Abra spies on Rose and finds her peacefully shopping for groceries. This isn't a humanising moment, though, so much as one that emphasises the banality of the True Knot's evil.
  • Violence Is Disturbing: The violence is surprisingly quite graphic and is very disturbing at times, enough to make you sick in the stomach. It’s all the more jarring and frightening considering how cartoony and ridiculous the premise sounds on its face. Easily the two most uncomfortable and hard-to-watch scenes are where Rose forcefully pulls her hand out of a tight drawer, causing the skin to be torn off and where the True Knot abducts a child and horrifically tortures him to death.
  • Voice of the Legion: When temporarily possessed by the Overlook Hotel, Danny speaks with all of the voices of the Hotel's ghosts.
  • Wham Line:
    • Delivered by none other than Jack Torrance:
    Jack: I'm afraid you've confused me with someone else. It's Lloyd.
    • When Rose the Hat begins to show curiosity of the boxes in Dan's mind, she thinks they're something "special". Dan's response?
    Dan: They're not special. They're starving. (cue shots of the suitcases opening)
  • Wham Shot:
    • After heading to bed, Dan is awoken by the wall loudly breaking out of nowhere. When Dan lifts himself and looks in the mirror, that's when we see: REDRUM.
    • Dan sits down at the hotel bar and is offered a drink by someone offscreen. After about a minute or so of idle chit-chat, the camera pulls back to reveal Jack Torrance.
  • Where It All Began: The climax has Dan return to the Overlook hotel from the first movie.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?:
    • With her Compelling Voice, Andi could have made Dan shoot himself like she did with Bill. Instead she makes him sleep and tries to shoot him then, an act that takes long enough to be foiled.
    • Considering Dan and Bill killed most of the True Knot this way with no problem or effort, it's quite jarring Dan didn't even try to do this with Rose, but instead set up an elaborate and very risky trap.
  • The Worf Effect: Rose is devoured by the ghosts of the Overlook during the final act, where it in turn takes her place as the final antagonist.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: After her projection gets right hand mangled with a file cabinet, Rose real hand ends up just as much messed up as a result.

Stars shining bright above you.
Night breezes seem to whisper "I love you."
Birds singing in the sycamore trees.
Dream a little dream of me.
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