Doctor Sleep provides a nice sequel story to both Stephen King's The Shining novel and Stanley Kubrick's 1980 Shining movie. In creating that balance between Stephen King's works on both the page and screen, Mike Flanagan's Doctor Sleep movie becomes something all its own. That means any Stephen King fans who read the Doctor Sleep source novel will be as in the dark about how this movie adaptation ends as any one who only watches the movie. To that end, we're breaking down the ending of the Doctor Sleep movie and All of the shocking Deaths that take place in it.
Warning: Obviously MASSIVE SPOILERS for Doctor Sleep Follow!
The finale act of Doctor Sleep takes powerful young psychic Abra Stone (Kyliegh Curran) and Danny Torrance (Ewan McGregor) back to the one place Danny never wanted to go again: The Overlook Hotel. Danny (or "Dan" now) goes there because he knows that the Overlook is an evil entity that feeds on the powers of those who Shine, and since the film's villains (the vampiric beings known as the True Knots) also have Shining powers, Dan figures the hotel can consume their final and most powerful member, Rose the Hat (Rebecca Ferguson).
After Dan takes a walk back through the Overlook to "wake up" its ghosts, he visits the boiler room to set a trap. Rose takes the bait and follows Dan and Abra into the Overlook, where they have a final confrontation in the parlor room where Jack Torrance attacked his wife (and got knocked out with her baseball bat) during the original Shining movie. That battle results in Dan being gravely injured with an axe (irony), but his plan ultimately works: The various ghosts from the original Shining movie reappear and swarm over Rose like locusts, consuming all of the "steam" (aka Shining power) that Rose has built up inside over decades (centuries?) of hunting shiners. The ghosts don't stop there, though: they remember the taste of Danny Torrance form all those years ago, and want to finish their meal.
The Overlook spirits swarm over Dan (see image above) and literally get under his skin, until Dan is right back where his father was all those years ago: fully possessed by the evil entity that is the Overlook Hotel.
Possessed Dan picks up the axe (just like his Dad) and hunts Abra through the Overlook, who draws him into the infamous room 237 where the hotel's paranormal activity seems the strongest. There, Abra manages to free Dan from possession for a split-second - long enough for Abra to escape. Possessed Danny realizes that real Dan set the boiler room to explode, and tries to sabotage the process - but it's too late. Just before the Overlook blows up into an inferno of flames, Danny is visited by the ghost of his mother, who embraces the ghost of Danny, now a child again.
Abra watches the Overlook Hotel burn, knowing Danny isn't gone forever. Sure enough, Dan honors the tradition and duty of being a mentor to a younger shiner, appearing in Abra's bedroom to give her guidance, just like the ghost of Dick Hallorann provided for Danny all his life. With Danny in her life, Abra seems ready to carry the Shining legacy forward.
Doctor Sleep is now in theaters.
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