Warning: The following contains spoilers for Doctor Sleep, in theaters now.
After the events of The Shining, the psychic Dan Torrance (Ewan McGregor) has grown into his own man, and he's specifically tried to avoid becoming like the man his father became. But when he agrees to try and protect Abra (Kyliegh Curran) from Rose (Rebecca Ferguson) and her people, he's forced to return to the place of his trauma: the Overlook Hotel.
Along the way, Dan makes a startling discovery about his family legacy. Namely, he finds out what happened to the lingering spirit of his father Jack Torrance, and what remains of him in one of the most famous places in horror movie history.
Jack Torrance was the main character of The Shining, and Jack Nicholson famously portrayed the patriarch of the Torrance family in director Stanley Kubrick's famous adaptation of the Stephen King novel. As a recovering alcoholic who was in a bad place with his family, Jack took a job at the Overlook Hotel as the winter caretaker, where he could be close to his wife Wendy and their young son Danny. A mix of the isolation and the spirits that haunt the hotel quickly prove to be too much for Jack's sanity. After Wendy accuses Jack of hurting Danny, he ends up at the empty hotel bar, where he jokingly offers to sell his soul for a single drink. Suddenly, he's greeted by the ghostly Lloyd the bartender, who pours him a drink.
Jack became increasingly unstable the longer he remained in the hotel and was eventually was convinced by the spirits to turn on his family and try to kill them. Wendy and Danny proved clever enough to avoid his wrath, although Jack manages to catch chef Dick Hollarann (who'd come back to the Hotel to help Danny) by surprise and kill him. Jack follows Danny and Wendy across the hotel grounds, eventually chasing Danny into the hotel's hedge maze. But a clever trick by Danny lets him sneak away and lure Jack even further into the maze. Danny is able to escape the maze and reunite with his mother, while Jack never escapes the maze. Instead, he ends up freezing to death and being buried underneath snow and ice.
In the years since Jack's death, Dan Torrance has grown into an alcoholic in his own right, mainly to try and suppress the abilities that his connection with the Shining bring into the real world. Slowly, Dan joins Alcoholics Anonymous in an attempt to try and learn to control his addiction. Almost a decade later, Dan has been successfully able to avoid alcohol. But when he's recruited by Abra to protect her from the True Knot, Dan becomes more tempted than ever to drink again.
Eventually, Dan and Abra are forced to retreat to the Overlook Hotel to make their final stand against Rose the Hat, the leader (and last living member) of the True Knot. While walking through the Hotel, the building slowly comes to life. While most of the spirits that used to haunt the building are still trapped within Dan's psyche, there's still one spirit inside the Overlook Hotel. Working behind the bar in the ballroom is still a man named Lloyd (Henry Thomas). However, it's not the same Lloyd who once tempted Jack. Rather, it's Jack himself. He offers a drink to Dan, who recognizes the man and tries to convince him that he was one day known as Jack. Although little flashes of Jack's personality bleed through, he has become a part of the Hotel completely.
FATHER TO SON
The moment is one of the more emotional sequences of the film. Dan had previously spoken about how becoming sober was partly in an attempt to honor the man his father was before he was consumed by madness. To have him appear before him Dan and try to force his to break his restraint is an emotional knife to Dan. It's also a surprising showcase for Thomas, who has to accomplish the impossible task of living up to Nicholson's immortal performance of Jack.
This ultimately gives The Shining's most famous character a depressing but fitting fate. Having given up on his family, Jack gave in to the hotel. Even when other spirits were able to escape the hotel and try to feed on people, Jack's spirit lingered in the ruined and forgotten building.
Written and directed by Mike Flanagan, Doctor Sleep stars Ewan McGregor, Rebecca Ferguson, Kyliegh Curran, Carl Lumbly, Alex Essoe and Zahn McClarnon. The film is now playing everywhere.