Easter Eggs You Missed In Doctor Sleep


There’s plenty of callbacks to The Shining
in Mike Flanagan’s Doctor Sleep. There are also references to Stephen King’s
Dark Tower series, cameos from familiar faces, and plenty more things to discover. No need to ask Tony for help; here are all
the Easter eggs you missed in Doctor Sleep. Much like Dan Torrance is haunted by what
he saw as a child in the Overlook Hotel, so too is Doctor Sleep haunted by the visuals
of The Shining. For starters, the film pulls direct footage
from the 1980 horror masterpiece throughout the runtime as Dan remembers his experiences
as a child. Slightly less obvious are the visual homages,
which include a nigh-identical tracking shot as Dan and Abra drive up to the Overlook Hotel
just like his father did 40 years ago. Dan follows in his father’s footsteps in other
ways, too – while meeting with Dr. John after landing in Frazier, New Hampshire, Dan is
offered a job. In the scene, Dr. John’s office looks nearly
identical to the office of the manager in The Shining, which saw Jack Torrance get the
job as the caretaker for the Overlook. One final reference is Abra’s home address:
1-9-8-0, or 1980, the year that The Shining was originally released. Although Jack and Wendy don’t make much more
than cameos in Doctor Sleep, their presence haunts Dan. We find out that his resolution to not use
his Shining comes from trauma he experienced at seeing his mother’s death approach, while
his alcoholism is an unwelcome present from his father. His parents haunt the film visually, as well. While trying to keep Abra away from Rose the
Hat once the pair return to the Overlook for the final battle, Dan is injured by Rose and
possessed by the spirits of the hotel. When he meets Abra again, he’s limping and
carrying an axe the same way his father chased him through the hotel years ago. When he tries to keep Rose the Hat from approaching
him on the steps, it’s a mirror performance of the way Wendy Torrance keeps Jack away
with wild swings of a baseball bat in Kubrick’s film. While Doctor Sleep is definitely a sequel
to Kubrick’s version of The Shining, it’s also a sequel to King’s original story. “What about room 237?” “Room 237?” In the book, the forbidden room in the Overlook
is 217, rather than 237. Kubrick changed the numbers at the hotel owners’
request. The owners feared that if the director used
an actual room number at the Timberline Hotel, where The Shining was filmed, no one would
want to book the room. Doctor Sleep uses the more well-known 237
number, but nods to the original book by having Dan step through room 217 at the hospice where
he works. Some other major references to the original
novel come when Dan and Abra return to the Overlook; while there, Dan runs into Lloyd
the bartender, who may or may not be the ghost of Jack Torrance. Jack/Lloyd offers Dan a drink of whiskey and
tells him to “take your medicine,” a famous line from the book that didn’t survive in
Kubrick’s screenplay. In addition, when the ghosts take over Dan’s
body, Abra calls him a “false face,” just as Danny called his own father in the climax
of the novel version of The Shining. Some bits of continuity between the novel
and the film version of The Shining were too tough to simply adjust outright. For starters, the Overlook Hotel doesn’t even
really exist in the Doctor Sleep novel; instead, Dan and Abra wander through the wreckage as
they battle against Rose the Hat and her cronies. That’s because the Overlook is destroyed at
the end of The Shining novel as Jack realizes what he’s done and battles against his possession. Once again, Flanagan nods at that narrative
by having Dan basically do the same thing, starting the boiler in order to destroy the
Overlook. One detail from the Doctor Sleep novel that
didn’t make it into the film actually has nothing to do with Stanley Kubrick at all;
instead, it was clearly just too complicated to work within a 150-minute runtime. In the film, Abra calls Dan “uncle,” first
as a cover story for why he’s being visited at work by a teenage girl, and later in the
film as a sign of affection. In the novel, he actually is her uncle, since
Abra’s mother is his half-sister by way of their father. Dan also learns all this from Abra’s grandmother
who’s dying of cancer, which all seems a bit too complicated for an already-packed film. Meanwhile, some things are just left deliberately
ambiguous about whether they occured in Doctor Sleep’s universe. For starters, Dick Hallorann appears in the
film, first to offer young Danny a trick to keep the ghosts trapped in his mind, and then
later to push Dan to help Abra. Dick never mentions how he died, or even if
he really died at all – considering the psychic powers on display in Doctor Sleep, he could
just be paying Danny a visit via Shining. That ambiguity is a reference to the fact
that Hallorann’s fate is pretty different between the novel and the film version of
The Shining. In the novel, Hallorann unquestionably survives,
helping Danny and Wendy to mourn in Maine after the trio escape the Overlook. In the film, he’s killed by an axe-wielding
Jack just as he arrives to help Danny at the Overlook. That specific axe shows up in Doctor Sleep
when Dan uses it to attack Rose, but there’s never any mention of it as the specific weapon
that killed Hallorann. Whether he’s a ghost or not, his presence
does provide some Easter eggs. For one, when he meets Danny to talk about
ghosts in 1980, he sits in the same position that Dan will later sit while discussing the
power with Abra in 2018. Since Dan ends the film as a ghostly visitor
to Abra in the same way that Dick first appears, it seems he takes after his old mentor in
more ways than one. If you’ve seen any of Mike Flanagan’s other
horror works, you’ll probably recognize a familiar face or two in Doctor Sleep. The writer-director loves to pack his film
and television projects with actors that he’s worked with before. Several members of the True Knot also appeared
in The Haunting of Hill House TV series, like Catherine Parker, Robert Longstreet, and Selena
Anduze. Meanwhile, Bruce Greenwood and Carel Struycken,
who played Dr. John and Grandpa Flick in Doctor Sleep, respectively, both appeared in Flanagan’s
previous Stephen King adaptation, Gerald’s Game. They’re not the only familiar faces on display
in Doctor Sleep, although you’d be forgiven if you missed this little cameo. The original Danny Torrance, Danny Lloyd,
appears as an onlooker during a Little League game midway through the film. His appearance is a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it
cameo, but at least you won’t need to ask Tony if you missed something while watching
Doctor Sleep. Doctor Sleep isn’t Mike Flanagan’s first adaptation
of a Stephen King novel; first came 2017’s Gerald’s Game. The story follows a woman named Jesse who,
after some bedroom play gone wrong with her husband Gerald, finds herself handcuffed to
the bed with no one around for help. In the novel and the film, Jesse eventually
escapes from her handcuffs by slicing the skin off her right hand in order to slide
out of her bonds. Flanagan certainly didn’t forget his prior
King adaptation while directing Doctor Sleep, since there’s a small reference to Jesse’s
ingenuity. In the film, Rose the Hat falls into a trap
while trying to invade Abra’s mind. The file cabinet of Abra’s memories slam shut
on Rose’s hand as Abra toys with her. Like Jesse, Abra rips the skin off her right
hand in order to escape, although the success leaves both women with a gnarly-looking wound. Stephen King is considered by many to be the
master of horror, but he’s also a master at franchising. Nearly all of his books, and plenty of his
short stories, all take place within the Dark Tower universe, which encompasses everything
from It and Doctor Sleep to the actual Dark Tower novels. “Inside this circle is your world, my world,
many others. Not that many.” Unsurprisingly, the film version of Doctor
Sleep is packed to the brim with references to the series. When Dick visits Dan at the hospice, he tells
him “Ka is a wheel,” a quote straight from the Dark Tower novels. Less obvious are references to two competing
forces in the Dark Tower universe: the Tet corporation and LaMerk Industries. Tet shows up in Doctor Sleep as Tet Transit,
the bus system that brings Dan to Frazier and, later in the film, Abra to Dan. In the Dark Tower, the Tet Corporation is
largely benevolent, so it makes sense that it would appear in the film to take Dan and
Abra to where they can do the most good. Meanwhile, LaMerk Industries owns the park
where the True Knot torture and kill a young baseball player. In the books, LaMerk is allied with the Crimson
King, who’s one of the worst evils in King’s universe, so of course they’d own the perfect
lot in which to bury a body. Finally, the baseball player that the True
Knot kills wears the jersey number 19, which is an integral number in the world of the
Dark Tower series. While saying his goodbyes to Abra, Dan tells
her to “shine on” because the world needs, quote, “people who stand.” Dan’s not wrong: the world in King’s universe
really does need people who stand, considering that there’s a massive novel called The Stand
that involves a divine battle between good and evil. The Stand has been adapted before: first as
a 1994 television miniseries, although it hasn’t reached the pantheon of some of King’s
better-known adaptations. Dan’s cryptic words might be a reference to
the new The Stand TV miniseries which will premiere on CBS All Access, which is co-owned
by Warner Bros. It may turn out that the only thing needed
to defeat Randall Flagg and the Captain Trips virus was corporate synergy. It’s not all Stephen King Easter eggs in Doctor
Sleep. Mike Flanagan actually took the time to acknowledge
another modern-day horror maestro: director Ti West. Like Flanagan, West started directing in the
2000s, achieving similar mainstream acclaim for his work on films like The Innkeepers,
The Sacrament, and The House of the Devil. That last film starred Jocelin Donahue as
an unlucky babysitter in the 1980s who signs up for a last-minute babysitting job that
goes very wrong, very quickly. Donahue also appears in Doctor Sleep as Abra’s
mother, so it makes sense that Flanagan would make a small reference to her House of the
Devil role. While Danny and Dick are chatting on the bench
in a flashback to 1980, a bulletin board can be seen that’s covered in flyers. Buried near the bottom and partially obscured
is a flyer advertising for a babysitting job. Granted, the flyer itself doesn’t bear much
of a visual reference to the absurdly stark advertisement that was seen in House of the
Devil, but the timeline and Donahue’s casting in Doctor Sleep means that its inclusion probably
wasn’t a coincidence. It’s no stretch to say that Doctor Sleep is
intensely concerned with dreams and nightmares. The title literally references sleep, and
both Dan and Abra experience gruesome and upsetting nightmares. The big problem for those two is that their
nightmares tend to result in real-life consequences, which might seem familiar to anyone who’s
seen the Nightmare on Elm Street films. Wes Craven’s famous horror franchise likewise
envisioned a monster that could invade your dreams and affect your real-life body. “It’s just a nightmare!” “That’s enough.” Flanagan paid homage to Craven’s classic creation
with an Elm Street sign that’s clearly visible off of the main street in Frazier, the town
where Dan spends most of Doctor Sleep. Considering that Dan also spends a good chunk
of Doctor Sleep having trouble sleeping, we think it’s safe to say that there were definitely
nightmares on Elm Street in Doctor Sleep. Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Looper videos about your favorite
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