Everything You Need to Know About ‘Doctor Sleep’

Plot Summary, Release Dates, Expectations and everything else you need to know about ‘Doctor Sleep’…

40 years after the events of The Shining, Danny Torrance aka Doctor Sleep re-emerges from the depths of addiction in order to work out his own salvation. Here is everything you need to know about Doctor Sleep:

The movie releases worldwide (excluding USA) on October 30, 2019.


Still traumatized by the events which transpired at The Overlook Hotel 40 years ago, Dan Torrance struggles with alcoholism to suppress it all. Soon, ‘Abra Stone’, a girl with extrasensory gift of ‘The Shine’, reaches out to Danny to help her evade True Knot, a cult whose members feed off of the psychic essence (or ‘Steam’) from children for a prolonged life.

The movie follows a reluctant Danny’s journey:

  • into sobriety as he uses his shine to help Abra, therefore, breaking his father’s cycle of inherited alcoholism and
  • into revisiting The Overlook Hotel to find answers to unanswered questions left behind 40 years ago.

Check out the trailers before continuing ahead:



The Stephen King adaptation releases worldwide on October 30, 2019. In USA and Canada though, it releases on November 8, 2019.


He’s [Danny] tried to bury it [his shine] because of the danger he thinks it put him and his family in when he was a kid. But he takes a job as an orderly at a hospice, and he finally starts to use the shining just a little bit to try to comfort patients in the moment before they die. He’s able to understand they’re about to die, he sits with them and helps them move on.

The patients know that if he shows up in your room late at night sitting by the bed, it’s because it’s over, it’s time to go to sleep. So they call him Doctor Sleep, that’s his nickname in the hospice.

– Mike Flanagan in a Q&A

Mike also goes to say that Danny’s nickname in The Shining (1977) was ‘Doc’, giving it a whole new meaning in Doctor Sleep.


  1. Ewan McGregor as Dan ‘Danny’ Torrance.

He played Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars Prequel Trilogy, a clone in The Island and now this. Ewan McGregor reprises the role of now matured Dan Torrance.

Dan Torrance’s philosophy early on in the story is not to use the shining. He’s drunk to suppress the horrible visitations, the spirits that are from the Overlook Hotel.”

-Ewan McGregor on playing his character.

2. Rebecca Ferguson as Rose The Hat.
Rebecca Ferguson plays Rose The Hat – leader of the cult ‘True Knot.’

Stay away from the woman in the hat. She’s the Queen Bitch of Castle Hell.

– a warning about ‘Rose The Hat’ from Doctor Sleep.

You may know this Swedish actress from movies like Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015) and its sequel Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018), The Greatest Showman (2017) and The Girl on the Train (2016).

As the antagonist of the movie, she leads a group of quasi-demonic murderers known as “True Knot” who hunts down children with psychic abilities aka The Shine and feeds off of their psychic essence, also called as “Steam” to prolong their lives.

Rose feeding off of “Steam” from children to prolong her life.
3. Kyliegh Curran as Abra Stone     

Abra Stone is the main target of Rose The Hat after she experiences Abra’s powerful abilites herself.

One of the best scenes from the trailer!!!!!!!!!

Abra uses her Shine to communicate with Danny and enlists his help in order to win against the True Knot.

4. Alex Essoe as Wendy Torrance

The role of Danny’s mother was previously played by the legendary, Shelly Duvall.

Although her acting was ICONIC in the movie, in reality, Shelly had a traumatic experience on the sets of The Shining. After an illustrious career, she retired from acting and is now leading a life away from the spotlight.
5. Carl Lumbly as Dick Hallorann
In ‘The Shining’, the role was originally portrayed by Scatman Crothers who passed away from lung cancer in 1986.

You may remember him as the kind-hearted Head Chef of The Overlook hotel who explained what “The Shining” is to the young Danny Torrance.

Remember him? That is Dick Hallorann.



From everything we know about Doctor Sleep comes the fact that this movie is a trifecta of The Shining (1977 novel), Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining (1980) and Doctor Sleep (2013 novel). 

Director Flanagan had to find the perfect balance between the three.

“Reconciling those three, at times very different, sources has been kind of the most challenging and thrilling part of this creatively for us.”

– Mike Flanagan was quoted.

He went on to claim, “[Doctor Sleep] is an adaptation of King’s novel but would exist “in the same cinematic universe as Kubrick’s The Shining” and would still  “acknowledge Kubrick’s The Shining in some way”.

So, in order to gain a wholesome experience, the viewer is expected to brush up on Danny’s past before viewing this movie at all.


Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation for THE SHINING was different in a way that it didn’t use jump scares to frighten people.

Yeah… there will be none of this!

It showed you something f****d up and just left you to make sense of it in your own way. It was a different kind of scary.

To support my claim, I present to you Exhibits A, B and C –

“Come Play With Us!”
“Need something to drink, friend?”
Need I say more?

We (crew of Doctor Sleep) used a lot of the lessons that Kubrick taught us about how to do a psychological thriller, a supernatural thriller, in a way that is more about suffocating atmosphere and tension than it ever is about the kind of traditional scares as we understand them today.”

-Director Mike Flanagan was quoted as such.

So, be prepared to be slowly scared to your deaths.

3. INTENSE STORYLINE with layered context.

Although, not successful during its time of release but Kubrick’s adaptation of THE SHINING soon gained a cult following which is still alive and kicking after 40 years! So, they must have done something right. Right?


The only difference between a movie like Amityville Horror and The Shining is that Amityville holds the supernatural entities responsible for everything. They gave a face to the enemy.

On the other hand, The Shining makes us realize that we are our own demons. Jack Torrance already had anger issues before he set foot in the hotel. His relationship with his wife was not the best. The viewer is made to ‘overlook’ (pun intended) all these aspects in their first viewing. We are led to believe as if there is something wrong with the hotel itself, which it definitely is but, at the same time, The Overlook is not solely responsible for Jack’s actions.

His slow descent into madness, alcoholism and murderous rage could imply that maybe the hotel just triggers what is already inside the human, like so –

  • Danny’s ‘shine’ became more prominent during his stay in the hotel. Seeing the twins, the blood river vision, etc.
  • Wendy Torrance’s self-preservation and protective instinct for her son flared up during her stay. She protected her son and herself from Jack, the woman in Room 237, the Twins and the blood river!
  • Jack’s dark side came into full bloom during his stay as well. No need to explain this, right?

The Director has already claimed that he tried to strike a balance and that he made sure to inculcate the best pieces from all the three of his sources for the movie. We, as viewers, can expect some mind-blowing plot twists and excellent story writing, without a doubt.

Now that we know everything we need to know about Doctor Sleep. I am going to be honest with you in answering this question. Yes. You should go and watch it. Period.

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