Why Baseball Boy’s Death Scene Was Almost Even Worse


  • The original cut of the baseball boy scene in Doctor Sleep was even more gruesome and violent than what was shown in the final version.
  • Stephen King, the author of The Shining, demanded that the violence in the scene be toned down, as he felt it was too brutal.
  • The final cut of the baseball boy death scene was already disturbing enough, and the cast agreed that toning it down was the right decision, as actor Jacob Tremblay’s performance was enough to carry the impact.

The Doctor Sleep baseball boy scene was the most brutal of the movie, but the original cut was even worse. Directed by Mike Flanagan, the 2019 sequel to The Shining is based on the book of the same name by Stephen King. Ewan McGregor stars as Dan Torrance, having grown since his experiences at the Overlook Hotel and working to protect children with similar gifts as him from the evil True Knot, a group of cannibals fed on the “steam” that comes from killing people gifted with the Shine.

One of the victims of the True Knot is a young boy named Bradley Trevor (Jacob Tremblay) which results in his disturbing death scene. The sequence has become one of the most famous from the movie with Tremblay’s performance adding to the horrific and heartbreaking brutality of the baseball boy’s death. However, the original cut that was seen was reportedly even more gruesome, which led to some edits being made. Given how impactful the scene is as it exists in the movie, it is hard to imagine the death of the baseball boy in Doctor Sleep being worse — but it very nearly was.

Doctor Sleep is available to stream on Max and Hulu.

The Changes Made To Baseball Boy’s Death

The Original Plan Doctor Sleep’s Infamous Child Murder Scene Involved More Violence

The True Knot Vampires Doctor Sleep

The original version of Doctor Sleep‘s baseball boy scene plays out very closely to how it does in the movie. Dan and Abra Stone (Kyliegh Curran) realize that Bradley is going to be the next victim of Rose the Hat and the True Knot. Indeed, the movie shows a member of the True Knot watching Trevor’s baseball game in which onlookers marvel at the young boy’s skills at bat. They remark how he seems to know exactly what pitch is going to be thrown, hinting that he uses the Shine. While Bradley is walking home from his game, he is abducted by the True Knot.

The baseball boy death scene that follows is an unsettling and drawn-out sequence in which Rose the Hat explains that fear and pain purify “the steam” as they proceed to torture and stab their young victim. As he pleads for his life, they continue to inflict pain on him while feeding on his steam as he dies. The scene is long and does not spare the viewer any of the horror of it by cutting away. However, the original cut also included more instances of Trevor being stabbed and physically abused, which was deemed to be too much for the sequence.

RELATED: The Doctor Sleep Sequel – Everything We Know About The Canceled Third The Shining Movie

Stephen King Demanded The Original Scene Be Changed

The Author Of The Shining Wanted The Violence Toned Down

Doctor Sleep The True Knot

Adding to the disturbing nature of the original version of Trevor’s death in Doctor Sleep, it was Stephen King himself who suggested it be toned down. King has never been scared of killing kids, but when it came to depicting the baseball boy death, Flanagan’s original plan was too much for the horror master. When Flanagan — who has adapted other King novels including Gerald’s Game — brought the death from the novel to the big screen, he tried to give it the gravitas it deserved.

King hated Stanley Kubrick’s changes to The Shining, and Flanagan wanted to remain loyal. However, when it came to the Doctor Sleep scene, King felt that showing this was too much. Mike Flanagan was on the Kingcast podcast and said that King asked him to scale back on the death scene in the movie:

He leaned over and he was like, ‘That’s a little brutal isn’t it?’ I was like, ‘Sh-t I gotta go back, I gotta go back and edit this. I gotta pull stuff out.‘”

Flanagan removed the stabbing and much of the physical violence, and said it satisfied King. The author agreed that the scene needed to be in there, but only by editing it down a little and pulling back some. The final version of the baseball boy death still achieves the same purpose in the movie as a horrific and truly unforgettable moment that cements the True Knot as a great threat.

RELATED: Doctor Sleep Cast & Character Guide

Toning Down Baseball Boy’s Death Benefited Doctor Sleep

The Final Cut Was Incredibly Effective

Doctor Sleep Baseball boy.

Kids are not exempt from the horrific scenarios endured in Stephen King stories. IT has an iconic opening sequence that ends with Pennywise brutally killing Georgie. Audiences witness Pennywise rip the boy’s arm off, but the clown drags him into the sewer to finish him off. How these events play out takes the viewer to the brink of what’s bearable to watch, but spares them the gory details while Georgie is killed off-screen. In Doctor Sleep, Flanagan drags out Trevor’s death, nearly to the point of excess. Extending the baseball boy death scene further would have just been violence for the sake of violence.

When it comes to gore in horror movies, sometimes too much is counterintuitive. Being needlessly violent sometimes borders on torture porn, which has been popular in the horror genre, but isn’t usually geared toward child victims for numerous reasons. The theatrical cut of the child death scene in Doctor Sleep is already heartbreaking and nearly too brutal to watch without the extra details. By choosing to pull back from his original vision just a little bit, Flanagan left enought to the audience’s imagination to make the scene bearable.

Whatever audiences envisioned happened in the last moments of the baseball boy’s life are more horrifying than anything that could have been shown on the screen. Besides, the King of Horror himself told Flanagan he took the scene a little too far, which speaks for itself. By heeding King’s wise advice, Flanagan pulled off a death scene in Doctor Sleep that was equal parts gut-wrenching and terrifying, without taking advantage of his audience’s emotions.

RELATED: Every Stephen King Movie Franchise, Ranked Worst To Best

The Final Doctor Sleep Baseball Scene Was Disturbing Enough Already (And The Cast Agrees)

The Stars Of The Shining Prequel Were Pleased The Child Murder Scene Was Toned Down

The Doctor Sleep baseball boy death scene not only traumatized audience members but also the cast itself. The actors who played The True Knot were ready to get started on the scene and had practiced and prepared for the brutal murder. However, in Doctor Sleep’s Making Of, it was revealed that when the cameras started rolling and actor Jacob Tremblay began crying and screaming, it took the cast by surprise. Many of the adult stars had to step back and take a break from the filming. It likely told Mike Flanagan on the spot that this scene, above almost any other, would work in the movie.

It also might explain why he pushed it so far initially when he edited it together, knowing that if it affected the cast filming the scene, it would destroy audiences and show how evil and terrifying The True Knot was. The cast’s reaction when Tremblay started crying speaks volumes about the child actor’s performance. It also cements that Flanagan was right to make the edits as Tremblay’s performance was enough to carry the impact of the scene and make it Doctor Sleep‘s most memorable moment without needing the added violence.

Doctor Sleep

Release Date
November 8, 2019

Mike Flanagan

Carl Lumbly, Ewan McGregor, Bruce Greenwood, Emily Alyn Lind, Rebecca Ferguson, Alex Essoe, Kyliegh Curran, Zahn McClarnon


153 minutes


Warner Bros. Pictures

  • Doctor Sleep

    Release Date:

    Mike Flanagan

    Carl Lumbly, Ewan McGregor, Bruce Greenwood, Emily Alyn Lind, Rebecca Ferguson, Alex Essoe, Kyliegh Curran, Zahn McClarnon


    153 minutes


    Mike Flanagan

    Danny Torrance is a middle-aged man drifting through America in order to shed his father’s alcoholism, which passed down to him in order to forget the events of “The Shining”. After landing into a small Massachusetts town and with the aid of a cat, he becomes “Doctor Sleep”. After meeting a young girl with the most powerful shining Danny’s ever seen, he must now face the demons of his past and the demons of the present in order to save her from a horrifying evil known as “The True Knot”.This film is based on the Stephen King novel of the same name. The book was a sequel to King’s classic The Shining, which was adapted for the big screen by Stanley Kubrick in 1980. The Doctor Sleep movie was officially announced in January 2018, with WB setting Mike Flanagan to direct. Ewan McGregor was cast as Danny Torrence in June 2018, and the rest of the cast has come together since then.Want to know more about Doctor Sleep?Watch the Doctor Sleep Trailer

    $55 million

    Warner Bros. Pictures

    Warner Bros. Pictures

    The Shining

#Baseball #Boys #Death #Scene #Worse

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