Doctor Sleep: All The Shining Easter Eggs and Stephen King References
Easter eggs from Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining
- Early on in Doctor Sleep, there’s a flashback to Danny’s trike ride through the Overlook, which terminates just outside of room 237. While the resemblance is uncanny, this sequence was entirely reshot for Doctor Sleep.
- While more of a meta reference, Abra and her parents live at 1980 Richmond Court; The Shining was released in 1980.
- Dan Torrance’s meeting with Dr. John Dalton about a job at Rivington House is shot identically to Jack Torrance’s job interview at the Overlook with Stuart Ullman.
- Dan and Abra’s drive up to the Overlook is a nearly beat-for-beat recreation of the opening of Kubrick’s Shining. The aerial shots are complemented by the The Shining’s main theme music.
- Dan peers into the busted door of the Torrances’ Overlook bathroom in a visual nod to Jack Torrance’s “Here’s Johnny!” moment. Earlier in the film, there’s a quick flashback to that scene, but it’s Alex Essoe’s Wendy Torrance being attacked instead of Shelley Duvall’s.
- Dan walks into the Overlook’s Gold Room and sits down to talk to “The Bartender”, an avatar of the hotel’s evil that wears the face of Dan’s father, Jack Torrance. Jack had a similar moment in The Shining, when he took a ghostly drink with Lloyd the Bartender.
- As Rose walks into the Overlook, she sees a tidal wave of blood pouring from the elevator, a recurring image from Kubrick’s Shining.
- During the finale, Dan and Abra attempt to trap Rose in one of Dan’s lockboxes, which are stored in a mental recreation of The Overlook’s hedge maze. At one point, we see the action from a top-down perspective, showing us that the maze goes on infinitely. A similar shot is employed in The Shining when Wendy and Danny are playing in the Overlook’s maze.
- Rose channels Jack Torrance as she stalks Dan and Abra up the staircase in the Overlook’s Colorado Lounge, just like Jack did to Wendy when he threatened to bash her brains in.
- An Overlook-possessed Dan swings an axe at Abra; the camera follows the axe swing the same way it did in The Shining when Jack breaks down the door of the Torrance apartment.
- As Abra flees Evil Dan, she runs into Horace Derwint, who favors her with his old standard, “Great party, isn’t it?” She also turns a corner and runs straight into the Grady sisters who, yes, still want to play forever, and ever, and ever…
Ewan McGregor explains how Jack Torrance haunts Danny in Doctor Sleep:
Stephen King’s Shining/Doctor Sleep References
Watch our review of Doctor Sleep below:
Cinefix breaks down the differences between the book and film versions of The Shining:
Watch the filmmakers explain how they made a sequel to The Shining:
Stephen King Multiverse
- Dan arrives in New Hampshire on a bus ran by “Tet Transit”, no doubt a subsidiary of the Tet Corporation, set up by Dark Tower hero Roland Deschain and his compatriots to counter the evil, Earth-bound machinations of the Crimson King, the series’ antagonists.
- The theater where Rose and Crow Daddy discover Snakebite Andi’s talents advertises a show from standup comic Joe Collins. Joe Collins appears in the final book of the Dark Tower saga, telling Roland and his cohorts that he’s a former standup comic. After paralyzing Roland’s group with some of his jokes, Joe reveals himself to be a monster called Dandelo, which feeds on its victim’s laughter. Dandelo has long been speculated to be a relative of Pennywise from IT, who feeds on fear. It’s not hard to imagine those two at a weekend retreat with the True Knot, is it?
- Bradley Trevor, the “baseball boy”, is killed at an ethanol plant owned by LaMerk Industries, a company secretly tied to the Crimson King.
- Bradley is number 19 on his baseball team. 19 is a number that recurs throughout Stephen King’s work (room 217: 2+17 =19), but is especially important at various points in the Dark Tower books.
- Dick Hallorann makes mention of Ka, the Force-esque iteration of fate in the Dark Tower novels, when he tells Dan “it all comes around, Ka is a wheel.”
- Rose tries to allay Grandpa Flick’s fear of death by reminding him of his long, evil history. In recounting these deeds, Rose mentions that he has “traveled worlds.” Traversing the parallel worlds of Stephen King’s creation becomes a key part of the plot in the Dark Tower series.
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