Doctor Sleep is the continuation of Danny Torrance’s story 40 years after the terrifying events of Stephen King’s The Shining. Still irrevocably scarred by the trauma he endured as a child at the Overlook, Dan Torrance has fought to find some semblance of peace. But that peace is shattered when he encounters Abra, a courageous teenager with her own powerful extrasensory gift, known as the “shine.” Instinctively recognizing that Dan shares her power, Abra has sought him out, desperate for his help against the merciless Rose the Hat and her followers, The True Knot, who feed off the shine of innocents in their quest for immortality.
Forming an unlikely alliance, Dan and Abra engage in a brutal life-or-death battle with Rose. Abra’s innocence and fearless embrace of her shine compel Dan to call upon his own powers as never before-at once facing his fears and reawakening the ghosts of the past.
(Description from Rotten Tomatoes)
First of all, The Shining is my all-time favorite horror movie. It has an artistic quality that you don’t see anymore, and Doctor Sleep is a lot different than The Shining. I don’t think another horror movie will quite capture that feeling again. So, while this is a continuation it feels like a different genre of horror movie.
Doctor Sleep takes on a whole different idea than being trapped in a hotel with spirits, it’s about Danny and how he is able to shine, like many others. I like how this movie takes on the world instead of one location, it expands the Stephen King universe and gives it a place of its own. It’s a very ambitious film and it does a good job.
The acting is also phenomenal for the most part. The only actor I thought wasn’t good was the child actor they brought in to play young Danny Torrence, his acting was cheesy. But, the rest of the child actors were amazing. They picked Ewan McGregor to play grown-up Danny, and he did an awesome job. The new characters came to life and fit in to the Stephen King universe easily.
They kept with the theme of being more freaky than outright terrifying. What I mean by that is they focused more on the human aspect with flickers of the spirits haunting them. A lot of scary movies rely on the ghosts or monster to be scary, but the scariest creatures in this movie are Rose and her gang, who are arguably human. Don’t get me wrong there are definitely freaky ghosts, they just don’t require them to be as scary as you’d expect.
I will say that this movie is painfully long. I understand that it’s so they can wrap up all the lose ends and make it feel complete, but they definitely could have accomplished that with a shorter run-time. It feels like you’re creeping along when you should be running in some places. It loses its momentum here and there but it was still an interesting movie.
I give Doctor Sleep 4/5 stars. It’s not the same as The Shining but it’s a pretty good sequel.
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