Years following the events of The Shining (1980), a now-adult Dan Torrance must protect a young girl with similar powers from a cult known as The True Knot, who prey on children with powers to remain immortal.
On highways across America, a tribe of people called The True Knot travel in search of sustenance. They look harmless-mostly old, lots of polyester, and married to their RVs. But as Dan Torrance knows, and tween Abra Stone learns, The True Knot are quasi-immortal, living off the "steam" that children with the "shining" produce when they are slowly tortured to death. Haunted by the inhabitants of the Overlook Hotel where he spent one horrific childhood year, Dan has been drifting for decades, desperate to shed his father's legacy of despair, alcoholism, and violence. Finally, he settles in a New Hampshire town, an AA community that sustains him, and a job at a nursing home where his remnant "shining" power provides the crucial final comfort to the dying. Aided by a prescient cat, he becomes "Doctor Sleep." Then Dan meets the evanescent Abra Stone, and it is her spectacular gift, the brightest shining ever seen, that reignites Dan's own demons and summons him to a battle for Abra's soul...Written by
Ewan McGregor admitted that he doesn't really like horror, so he never watched The Shining (1980) until he started acting, and felt he could no longer ignore its classic status. See more »
Around 02:48:12 (Director's cut version), Abra is putting her hand on Dan's wrist. On the next shot, her hand is on Dan's hand. And so on... See more »
[Crow Daddy realizes Dan Torrance is talking through the captive Abra]
Who are you?
I'm the guy who killed your friends.
It's nice to meet you. Neat trick. Haven't seen this one before.
Wanna see one more?
[Crow Daddy reaches for his gun]
I don't imagine Rose will be too happy if you shoot the prize.
I don't suppose Rose will be happy about any of this. And when that woman gets mad... well... seems to me you know enough to know you might wanna sit this one out. Count your blessings, go on ...
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The retro "\\'" logo, as seen on The Shining (1980), is shown at the beginning with the WarnerMedia byline. See more »
The 3-hour Director's Cut restores the following scenes not shown in the theatrical cut:
The film's title card is now shown in the beginning and the new cut is broken down into six chapters via their own respective chapter cards.
In the prologue, there's extra dialogue by Rose on secret places in finding roses and then assuring Violet on not scaring her. After Violet gets caught, her mother searches for her only to find a van column driving away before it fades to black.
In young Danny's first scene, the ghost of Mrs. Massey appearing in the house bath tub is shown in full. When Wendy enters the bathroom, a wet footprint is visible on the tub's mat.
When Halloran talks to young Danny, there's more dialogue touching on the events that occurred in The Shining. Halloran describes The Overlook Hotel as mosquitoes landing on blood and a similar event that occurred to himself before.
As the adult Danny stares into the mirror, there are more flashbacks describing the events the night before. He comes back to the bedroom and notices the empty bottle. In this version, he shows a little hesitation when he takes a wad of cash from the woman's wallet. As he's about to leave, he sees Halloran again,being warned not to put the Overlook's memories into the boxes.
Little Abra's (the night before her birthday party) original introduction is restored back.
A short scene explaining how Danny arrived in Frazier by buying a bus ticket. Another similar scene appears later, which setups Abra's first meeting with Danny in person.
During little Abra's birthday party, there's more shots the magician performing tricks followed by another short exchange between David and Lucy about nap time.
Rose emphasizes the importance of the True Knot and Andi's alliance to her.
During Danny's first AA session with Billy, two short scenes have been put back: Dr. Dalton asks whether if there's any new person joining the session and then later an exchange referencing Billy's brother Frankie.
After Snakebite Andi's initiation to the True Knot, she learns that she was out for a few days, then goes to hug Grandpa Flick. This immediately follows by Lucy calming little Abra down.
There's a new long track shot through the Overlook Hotel to the bar in the Gold Room before the Chapter 3 title card is shown.
In the second AA sequence, Danny talks more about his father and his broken arm.
There's more dialogue between Charlie and Danny. Danny tells him about the relationship ("Farmall tractor. A striped umbrella over the seat. Five years old, pulling a red wagon.").
More explicit shots on Bradley's death are added. Immediately after, Rose is furious that she could not have a few more extra minutes of harvesting his smoke. The grave digging shot is now composited in front of the Redrum message as Danny stares at it.
When the True Knot finds out about Abra, Rose and Crow Daddy debate on neither killing nor turning her before she walks out of her trailer. The Chapter 4 title card shows up next.
In Abra and Danny's first meeting in person, she talks from her point of view of using her shining abilities and her motives behind it. Danny warns her further.
There's another flashback between Wendy and young Danny which makes clear that she's still struggling with the loss of Jack.
During Halloran's final visit to Danny, he warns him further about the True Knot and the line, "Ka's a wheel, doc" is elaborated further.
Crow Daddy interrupts Rose's meditation with a news of an unusual earthquake, which gives them clues of where to find Abra. He also reveals a plan on how to abduct her and suggests having Andi to guard Rose but was turned down.
At the Stone's family house, Billy and Danny had a talk with David before Abra shows David her abilities including a flashback of Bradley's death.
Crow Daddy's kidnapping of Abra and the killing of David is shown in full.
In the Overlook Hotel's bar, there's more dialogue between Danny and Jack / Lloyd - he specifically talks about his childhood and using his ability one more time to fix Wendy's nightmare. He also reveals that he being alcoholic cost him eight years of his life.
Following their conversation, Lloyd takes Danny into the infamous red washroom and cleans him up. There, he stirs up Danny against Abra.
At the end credits, two more cards showed up, displaying additional music credits for the added scenes following by a special thanks card for the new cut by director Mike Flanagan.
Different Experience Than The Shining, But Still Worth Watching
While I don't consider it a masterpiece, I did enjoy the classic Kubrick rendition of The Shining, and I understand why it has the fan base it does. Seeing the trailer for Doctor Sleep and discovering Ewan McGregor was playing an adult Danny Torrance, I thought the concept might be interesting.
Everyone acts fantastic in this film. I thought Ewan McGregor built a very nice character. If I had imagined how Danny might have turned out after the first film ended, I don't think I would have predicted it much different. There are a few intense moments with the villains (Primarily Rose the Hat and Snakebite Andi) that made me absolutely hate them (which is a good thing). I think the things they do in the film would make anyone want them to see a terrible fate.
I found myself smiling at the call-backs to the classic movie, and when Danny returns to the Overlook Hotel. It's been a while since I've said to myself "Oh wow, there it is" that many times at a film. I will say there are a couple scenes at the Overlook that feel like they were written in to make the fan base happy rather than be part of the story, but nothing that drags on too long.
As far as it being a scary film, you may jump a few times, and some scenes are a little disturbing, but by Stephen King standards, it's more of a suspense film.
An advantage I'll give this film over The Shining is that even though the film is two and a half hours, it doesn't get boring. Not that The Shining was boring, but it is a very slow film. Stanley Kubrick loved to throw in very long shots in his films, and while I personally think they worked sometimes, other times they were excessive, and in The Shining, they were excessive to me.
I think this film is at least worth a watch whether you're a fan of the Kubrick film or not, because it's sort of it's own film in a way. It shows enough of the classic film to have a connection, but also has a story different enough and good enough to hold it's own.
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