One of the neat things Flanagan does here is find a way to bring the original ending to Stephen King’s “Shining” to the screen.
Kubrick’s film ends with Jack Torrance chasing his son through a maze of snow-covered hedges outside the haunted hotel. Jack is totally mad at this point, with the evil of the hotel infecting him so deeply that if he catches his son, it will kill him for good.
King’s book paints Jack as a more tragic figure with a good man still buried somewhere deep inside him. The good side of Stephen King’s Jack Torrance fights back, struggling to control himself long enough for him to blow up the hotel boiler (and himself with it), giving his wife and son a fighting chance. escape.
The author used both endings to illustrate the difference in approach to the material between him and Mr. Kubrick. The movie ends with Jack frozen, the book ends with a roaring fire. The former is cold, the latter is hot, and according to King, that’s all you need to know about the book and the movie.
Flanagan incorporates the original “Shining” ending into “Doctor Sleep” by giving Danny Torrance his father’s bow. Jack Torrance inflicted untold horrors on his boy’s psyche, traumatizing him but good for the rest of his life, but he also managed to teach his son by example. Danny Torrance knows what kind of monster he could become if alcohol or ghosts or whatever issues he has got the better of him because he’s seen it before, up close and personal.
You’ll notice that this thread is visually and thematically expanded on Danny’s journey to protect a young girl with “The Shine” from a group of near-immortal transient monsters calling themselves The True Knot. He has a job interview that is framed and executed in exactly the same way as Jack Torrance’s interview to become Guardian of the Overlook. He has a tempting moment with his own Lloyd the bartender. But every mirror moment that Jack Torrance gave in to darkness, Danny rejects him.
Could it be his father’s lasting legacy; the only good thing to come out of his struggle with his inner demons? He set an example for his son.
In this way, this story serves as a small redemption for Jack Torrance, both the highly tortured and complicated man King wrote and the jack loon cracker Jack Nicholson played in Kubrick’s film.