Doctor Sleep Director Confirms Awesome Shining Easter Egg

Danny Torrance in Doctor Sleep / Shining
(Image credit: (Warner Bros))

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Late last year The Haunting of Hill House’s Mike Flanagan delivered a sequel to the Stanley Kubrick classic The Shining in an epic and satisfying way with Doctor Sleep. But in the spirit of its title, many moviegoers hit snooze on the title when it flopped on the big screen with shockingly low box office numbers. Doctor Sleep has at least found a new life on HBOMax and fans are taking notice of an awesome Easter Egg. Check this out:

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One fan took to Twitter to share a subtle finding within Doctor Sleep that has a cool connection to The Shining. A little over an hour and a half into the movie, Ewan McGregor’s Danny Torrance is driving his car. The sound heard in the background sounds a lot like the noise a young Danny makes while riding his tricycle across the Overlook Hotel in 1980’s The Shining.

Doctor Sleep writer/director Mike Flanagan confirmed to the fan that his observation wasn’t imagination at all. The filmmakers purposefully mixed the tricycle sound within the scene with Danny Torrance driving his car. It’s a small detail, but a hauntingly beautiful one that informs a parallel between a character who is suffering from the trauma of his childhood. Now we're wondering what other little references to The Shining we haven’t noticed yet.

The horror flick follows the son of Jack Nicholson’s Jack and Shelley Duvall’s Wendy Torrance as an adult. The character played by Ewan McGregor now uses his spirit powers to help dying people at a hospice find peace before passing away. But once he learns he has a niece, Kyliegh Curran’s Abra Stone, who shares his powers. Danny must confront his demons at the Overlook Hotel and help Abra with their shared “shining.”

Last month, Doctor Sleep dropped on HBO Max to a flood of fans finally appreciating the movie for the first time. Both the theatrical version and the three-hour director’s cut of the movie are currently available on the streaming service. You can sign up for a 7-day trial of HBO Max here.

CinemaBlend’s podcast ReelBlend recently spoke with Mike Flanagan about Doctor Sleep at length. During the interview, the filmmaker talked about what he did to get through editing the movie’s most horrific sequence and teased the upcoming release of The Haunting of Hill House spinoff The Haunting of Bly Manor, which is currently expected to hit Netflix later this year.

This Doctor Sleep Easter Egg is awesome behind-the-scenes knowledge that illustrates how deeply the filmmakers cared and understood Stephen King’s source material. Did you notice this Easter Egg in the horror release? Stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for more BTS on your favorite movies.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.