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2-min read

Doctor Sleep: Everything You Need to Know About The Shining Sequel Before Watching the Film

With Doctor Sleep hitting theatres on Friday, here are a few things you need to know before watching the Ewan McGregor starrer.

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Updated:November 8, 2019, 5:19 PM IST
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Doctor Sleep: Everything You Need to Know About The Shining Sequel Before Watching the Film
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A sequel to Stephen King's 1977 cult novel The Shining, Doctor Sleep is set several decades after the events of the original book/ movie. Written and directed by Mike Flanagan, the film stars Ewan McGregor as Danny Torrance, the son of The Shining protagonist Jack Torrance.

Danny is a man who possesses psychic abilities called 'the shining' and struggles with childhood trauma from his time at the Outlook hotel.

The film also features an ensemble case of Rebecca Ferguson, Kyliegh Curran, Carl Lumby, Zahn McClamon, Emily Alyn Lind, Bruce Greenwood, Jocelin Donahue, Alex Essore and Cliff Curtis.

With the movie hitting theatres on Friday, November 8, here are a few things you need to know before watching the Ewan McGregor starrer.

Doctor Sleep is a sequel to both the book and Stanley Kubrick's classic The Shining. The original story of The Shining saw Jack Torrance take up the job of a winter caretaker for the secluded Overlook Hotel, thinking the seclusion would help him overcome his writer's block.

However, the hotel itself is a place for malevolent beings, and Danny, Jack's son, is able to see them because of his gift of 'the shining'. The movie traces their time at the hotel as the ghosts track the youngster for his abilities and slowly overtakes Jack's own being as he turns murderous and vengeful.

The book sees Danny being able to escape with his mum after mentally overpowering his dad, while Jack, in a moment of heroism, sets the boilers to explode, killing him and destroying the hotel. In the film adaptation, he becomes trapped in the maze and freezes to death.

Set decades later after The Shining, Doctor Sleep focuses on a now-adult Dan Torrance, who too, like his dad, struggles from substance abuse and alcoholism. The alcohol, in a way, subdues his abilities. However, he mends his way and joins a hospice, where, thanks to his abilities, he becomes Doctor Sleep, easing patients in their last moments before death.

Dan is eventually contacted by Abra, a young girl, who too has the Shining and the film shows how he and the girl fight off a cult known as True Knot who are after the girl for her powers. For loyalists of King, the ending of the book, however, is different from the film, but perhaps, in a good way.

In fact, while King's dislike for Kubrick's version of his novel is well documented, during a recent interaction with Entertainment Weekly, King went on to say that Doctor Sleep 'redeems' Kubrick's The Shining.

King said that he read the script very carefully and everything he disliked about the Kubrick version of The Shining was redeemed for him in Doctor Sleep.

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