Doctor Sleep (2019) Poster

(2019)

User Reviews

Review this title
555 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
10/10
Fantastic Doctor Sleep
ymyuseda7 November 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Rating 10/10 Clue from dreams. Finally i watched a good movie after almost 2 months. I went in to see this movie, mind you i had not read any reviews much less have seen any trailers. I was shocked by how good the movie was.This movie is really amazing. Great cinematograpy, great acting performance with great cgi effects. Thanks Mike Flanagan & Stephen King for making this kind of movie. I strongly suggest you guys to go watch it on the biggest screen you can get. I am sure that you wont regret what you pay for. I really liked it. Shine on Abra Stone !! Shine on !!
285 out of 334 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Perfect Balance
johnnyutah3131 October 2019
Finally got to see my most anticipated film of the year and I'm happy to tell you it's everything I wished for and more. Flanagan has done an amazing job adapting the book from Stephen King and giving lovers of the Kubrick film adaptation of "The Shining" (1980) a cinematic sequel. Now i read the book and while I enjoyed it for the most part, I found parts of it underwhelming. I feel in this film adaptation, Flanagan takes elements from the novel and manages to make them more darker and serious which in turn really helped address some issues I had with the book. He does make some serious changes though and while I embraced them I'm not sure how others who read the book will feel about them. "The Shining" (1980) to me and I'm sure a lot of you, is a masterpiece in filmmaking. I for one prefer it over the novel and with this film, it most certainly feels like a sequel to Stanley Kubrick's version and a love letter to that film. The last 30 mins or so are absolutely amazing and kudos to Flanagan for pulling it off. Ewan McGregor does a great job as an adult Danny Torrance and Rebecca Ferguson captivates as Rose the Hat. The film sets a great tone with some stunning visuals and the score completely grabs you. How much you enjoy this film really depends on what you want out of it. There's practically no gore here and no cheap jump scares. What you'll get though is expert filmmaking from someone who you can tell really loves the source material he's pulling it all in from. Everything struck a balance for me that I was tremendously pleased with, top horror film of the year.
234 out of 290 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Excellent if you have the right expectations
slseed196911 November 2019
If you are going into this film expecting it to be a straight up sequel to the Kubrick film with the same horror tone, you'll be disappointed, however if you have an open mind, this movie is very well directed and acted and the story is very compelling. This is more of a fantasy thriller than a horror film and I really like that about this film. It also does quite a bit of homage to the 1980 film, but takes it into a new and interesting direction with a deep underlying theme direct from Steven King.
37 out of 43 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Surprisingly, better than expected.
Her-Excellency4 November 2019
The ever-beautiful Rebecca Ferguson and a favorite from the Fargo series, Zahn McClarnon team up to bring us some not-so-scary, but rather eerie/creepy, moments in this adaptation of King's Doctor Sleep. For the most part, and with the help of Ewan McGregor who plays an alcoholic, grown-up version of The Shining's Danny Torrence, they pull it off.

While Doctor Sleep is a somewhat drawn-out and, mostly, slow-moving film, it still has enough to it, to not lose one's attention. The story-line is solid and engaging enough, although those unfamiliar with the book and looking for outright horror and gore, will find little satisfaction. There are a couple of scenes which can be construed as "horrific", but IMO Doctor Sleep is not really a "horror flick" by definition. To me, it is more like an intense drama about good vs evil, with a couple of well-done 'end-of-life' scenes thrown in. :)

What I most enjoyed about it, is that in this day and age where practically every story ever has already been made into a movie, this one's plot was just a bit off the beaten path and came across as slightly new and original in its approach, while still pretty seamlessly tying it in to the well-known classic: The Shining.

If I had to add one con, it would be a somewhat minor one, in that, at times, the girl who plays Abra (Kyliegh Curran), who also possesses 'the shining', and who can communicate with Danny, delivers her lines in almost a stone-like manner, and at other times as if she is rapidly reading. It occurred one too many times, and I found that it took me out of the movie for just a bit.

While good, the scenes leading up to the ending are a bit predictable, and the 'showdown' (remember, good vs. evil) leaves a little to be desired. For the most part, however, I can live with it, seeing as Rebecca Ferguson saves it by just being in it, and King and the creators do their best to come full circle. In short, like the entire film itself, it is satisfying-enough to where one can feel as if watching it, was time well spent.
77 out of 100 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
One of the better film adaptations of a King novel
daemon-2166412 November 2019
This is easily one of the better film adaptations of a Stephen King novel, and also one of the better films I've seen this year. Yet again, professional film critics have proven they mostly have no idea about the cinema of the fantastic (fantasy, SF, and horror). If you're a fan of the genre, you'll love this film - ignore the critics.
25 out of 30 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
A great story well told. And a little bit of pandering to sit through.
tjwb8412 November 2019
Warning: Spoilers
When I first read that Stephen King was writing a sequel to The Shining, my instincts said it was probably a bad idea. Happily, sometimes my instincts suck. I thoroughly enjoyed Doctor Sleep. The book had me hooked with excellent characters and a small-scale narrative that actually had little to do with the events in The Shining, and certainly didn't pander to the reader in the way Hollywood loves to do (see South Park's "Memberberries" for more on that). I admire the way in which King handled this difficult sequel.

I'm happy to say that I really enjoyed this movie as well, and highly recommend it. It is mostly true to the book, the acting is great, and the pandering is confined to the ending (the least impressive part, more on that later).

The characters seemed as true to the book as should be expected. In particular, I thought Rose, Abra, Crow Daddy, and Danny Torrance were all bloody fantastic. Rose is an interesting character, presented in great yet mysterious detail in the book, and not easy to bring to life. But for me Rebecca Ferguson was flawless. Ewan McGregor makes for an excellent, likable-but-flawed Danny Torrance, and in one particular shot, I thought he channeled Jack Nicholson's acting very effectively, a startling moment.

The movie contains some beautiful and haunting shots. Two highlights for me were Rose flying through the sky, looking for steam, and a certain shot of Grandpa Flick savoring the steam he's just consumed, looking like something out of Bloodborne. (The only thing I really missed was Rose's one-toothed face! Wish they had included that.) The Baseball Boy's torture scene was incredibly gruesome and hard to watch - but that, of course, is precisely its intended effect.

The score is effective, frequently using the 'heartbeat' effect from Kubrick's The Shining, which produces an instant atmosphere of tension. Now, in my opinion, Stanley Kubrick's The Shining is a masterpiece of art, and in my experience, no modern film comes close to the quality of its shots, audio, or filmcraft, including this one. But that doesn't mean that Doctor Sleep's cinematography and soundtrack aren't excellent in their own right.

There are some interesting differences and similarities among the two books and films. Doctor Sleep (the movie) omits some interesting aspects of the book, such as Danny's sponsor and the love affair between Rose and Snakebite Andy. But that probably makes sense in terms of the screenplay. More crucially, in the films' universe, The Overlook was never destroyed, thus giving the movie adaptation of Doctor Sleep the opportunity to.... Go back to the hotel.

This takes us to the ending, which is the film's weakest part (the same is probably also true for the book). Going back to the Overlook and touring its key locations did nothing for me, and at that point I began to feel the movie's considerable length.

But at that point I was already a satisfied customer. I got to see an excellent novel brought to life in an excellent way. Go check it out.
17 out of 20 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Enjoyed it a little more than I thought
jenisedong10 November 2019
I didn't have a ton of expectations going into this movie but I thoroughly enjoyed The Shining (like much of the human population) so I was expecting a good continuation of the original story line. Overall I think Mike Flanagan was able to deliver. The way the movie was filmed and edited really exemplified a typical horror movie. Doctor sleep includes a constant mist in the settings, there are a lot of dramatic slow panoramic shots, and the music is eerie and impactful. The acting is pretty decent but in my opinion Rebecca Ferguson absolutely shined as Rose the Hat. Ferguson put in so much emotion into her character and her expressions throughout the movie were just so unsettling, it was pure perfection. I didn't find Doctor Sleep to be very scary I might classify it as more thriller, there were a few jump scares and a few shots disgusted me but nothing really shook me to my core, which is fine. Overall as an avid fan of horror movies and King I enjoyed this movie a lot and might even say it's one of the best horror movies of the year.
12 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
If you get it you'll agree...
Canberra0731 October 2019
...mike Flanagan GETS IT. He feels it. Few people can translate this well from an original tale within a tale within a tale. YOU certainly can't! If your heart doesn't beat to the soundtrack, and you don't feel those happy goosebumps several times during the film, then, history is lost on you. After seeing this movie, you may have an awakening of sorts... and see the world's periphery in a new light...with details you may not have noticed before. At least that's what I hope for every person who gets a chance to enjoy this truly unique and amazing cinematic experience!
148 out of 224 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Lives up to Kubrick's classic as well as King's novels.
michaelely-016279 November 2019
This film was a masterpiece that tied Stephen King's book with Kubrick's vision of The Shining perfectly. There were some changes from the original novel, just as there were in Kubrick's adaption of The Shining, but the alterations resonated beautifully with King's original ending to The Shining. Ewan McGreggor portrayed Danny Torrance with high class acting, as did each other actor. The direction, cinematography, and musical score was also near perfect. A worthy successor to Kubrick's classic masterpiece, on all counts. Fans of Kubrick's film as well as King's novel will not be disappointed.
58 out of 87 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Was absolutely outstanding, up until the third act
decarloj31 October 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Major spoiler in here, you've been warned.

The first 3/4 of the movie were incredible. Excellent directing and excellent acting. It kept you completely engaged. Kyliegh Curran was the standout and you'll definitely be seeing more of her. They did a great job of making you absolutely hate The True Knot. They were some of the most evil, vile villains I've ever seen in a movie. One part in particular where they kidnap a young boy was very difficult to watch.

The movie falls a little flat in the third act when they arrive at the Overlook. It started to feel like one of those made-for-Youtube fan made sequels. I get that they had to reference the movie since more people are familiar with it than the novel, but they could've just done it with brief flashbacks. And the decision to not use cgi to bring back Jack was a bad one. It looked like Henry Thomas with a bad baldman cap.

But all in all it was a very enjoyable movie, much better than IT 2.
80 out of 125 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Watch it...
hotrican197611 November 2019
Mysterious and terrifyingly beautiful is all I can say about this film. If you're a King fan you most definitely watch this movie. The action can drag at times making this a long movie at times but no more than the average block buster.
10 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Different Experience Than The Shining, But Still Worth Watching
jeffreyoliverrock11 November 2019
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 at times, The Shining was 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.
10 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Doctor Sleep is a great film for fans of both King and Kubrick.
rustonreviews9 November 2019
Although considered a timeless horror classic by both critics and audiences alike, Stanley Kubrick's The Shining (1980) remains famously loathed by Stephen King to this day. Despite the authors widely recognised disappointment with Kubrick's interpretation of his novel, the film has stood the test of time as one of horror cinema's greatest achievements. In 2013, King released a follow-up novel, Doctor Sleep, which provides the basis for Flanagan's latest King adaptation (his second following 2017's Gerald's Game) starring McGregor as a middle-aged Danny Torrance, still haunted by the traumatic events that took place at the malevolent Overlook Hotel decades ago. While regularly attending AA meetings, Danny secures a job at a hospice where he comforts dying patients with a little help from his supernatural abilities, soon acquiring the title of Doctor Sleep as a result of his unorthodox methods. Meanwhile, a group of quasi-immortals operating under the moniker True Knot seek to drain the steam from within supernaturally gifted children who 'shine', just like Danny, in order to retain their youth.

Enter Mike Flanagan (Oculus (2011), The Haunting of Hill House (2018)) who was burdened with the insurmountable task of not only crafting an adaptation that King himself would be proud of, but also a sequel that would impress fans of Kubrick's acclaimed original. Flanagan, who stands as one of modern horror's most prominent writer/directors right now, strikes a perfect balance with Doctor Sleep. It is a film that establishes itself as a completely different beast to Kubrick's film, while also drawing just enough influence from what's come before to please die-hard fans of what Kubrick established with his own vision. Ewan McGregor is well cast as a damaged Danny Torrance, but it's Rebecca Ferguson's captivating performance as Rose the Hat, the enigmatic leader of the True Knot, that steals the show. Fuelled with malevolence, Ferguson's deranged antagonist serves as one of Doctor Sleep's most exciting performances, and she's an absolute joy to watch. Kyliegh Curran also turns in a solid performance as Abra, a gifted young girl who shares a telepathic connection with Danny.

As is often the case with Flanagan's work, jump scares are practically non-existent. Instead, Flanagan focuses on atmosphere and tension to elevate the sequences of terror. During a grueling sequence that displays the True Knot's ability to drain children of their shine, Flanagan chooses not to hold back from depicting a scenario that will undoubtedly unease the most hardened of viewers. Stylistically speaking, Flanagan often channels Kubrick's visionary flairs to replicate certain shots that pay homage to the original film. Although both films are totally different from one another, Doctor Sleep serves as a terrific companion piece to the 1980 classic that fans of both Kubrick and King can appreciate. It's certainly an exciting journey with instances of some amazing cinematography (a sequence involving Rose scouring the night sky is a particularly captivating, dream-like moment), and Flanagan's screenplay is brilliantly paced, completely engrossing, and never dull. Doctor Sleep stands as the best Stephen King adaptation to be released this year, and one of the better horror efforts, too. Simply put, Doctor Sleep truly shines.
26 out of 37 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Surprisingly a neat little companion piece to the classic! That doesn't just rely on nostalgia to tell their story
paulijcalderon1 November 2019
What a surprise... That wasn't so bad actually! Now, hear me out. When I first saw the previews for this I felt disappointed by the visual look of the film, as it was all too green-tinted and lacked the Kubrick-esque framing I want from a film like this (it being a sequel to "The Shining" after all). Remember, I care too much about the visual aesthetics of these things sometimes. Especially when it was clearly supposed to connect right to the iconic classic. The green tint stays throughout the film, much to my displeasure. Worked great in "Joker" though. But once I got what the story was and paid attention I realized I was getting invested. This is a different type of film while still remembering to pay huge amounts of respect to the legacy of the original. Once you do get to the elements that carry over from Kubrick's film it felt well earned. Interestingly enough they kind of blend well together too eventually. We delve into the supernatural aspects of what Stephen King was going after in his book, and that's completely fine. I don't mind a chilling spookie once in a while. Recently I've felt done with most of the modern day horror film tropes, so it's such a shock for me to say that I had a good time with "Doctor Sleep".

The progression of where Danny Torrance's character goes to is a natural right step. They go for the 'father like son' kind of thing, and I was completely onboard with it. The ghost of Jack Nicholson's presence looms strongly over the story too, with Danny fearing not to follow his father's footsteps. The new story elements were able to grab my attention as well. Again, as soon as it clicked what type of plot/movie this was, then it worked. It's its own thing, and that's great. No "Shining" remake - except for some re-created imagery (handled with nice respect) - But most importantly: The story and characters moved forwards. Loved what they did with the character Rose the Hat. What a sinister yet oddly charming antagonist portrayed hypnotically by Rebecca Ferguson. Hope she gets the deserved credit. Ewan McGregor will always be Obi-Wan to me, but he was a fantastic choice to play Danny. He can convincingly make me believe that he's got the 'shine'. It surprises me how positive I feel about the movie! It's a neat little companion piece to the classic. Again, big props for them to go for their own thing. This is no "Force Awakens", if you know what I mean. You'll walk though memory lane here for sure. The difference is that it doesn't rely on the nostalgia to tell their story. It actually stands on its own. I'll say that if you're a big fan of the original, then it's worth taking a looksie
40 out of 61 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
A Worthy Continuation
TheDreadedChampion201931 October 2019
Just got out of an early screening of "Doctor Sleep". I'll keep it short. This was a really solid movie, that finds an interesting way to continue the story and mythology of "The Shining" while still having its own identity. Rebecca Ferguson is absolutely wonderful as the villainess. This is her best performance since Mission: Impossible. Ewan McGregor isn't as off the wall, charismatic, or memorable as Jack Nicholson, but then again, this is a different character. He does a fine job. The girl was really good...its a slow burn but it pays off in the end. Poop
50 out of 79 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Great sequel
leewendygraham12 November 2019
Great tension and pace, time flys by with many reflections of the predecessor, a great honour to the classic
14 out of 19 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Mike Flanagan Created a Seriously Satisfying film here!
brentkingery-937-54110831 October 2019
I can not explain in words! How much I loved this film but I'm going to try! I honestly don't think there is anything wrong w/ this film! & it is a perfect sequel to the shinning! The soundtrack to this film. Makes your heart thump right along w/ it.. Rebecca Ferguson is a revelation in this film! She does some horrific things in it & I was just sitting in my seat in awe of her the whole time! The things Mike Flanagan pulls off in this not many directors can do! & it brings the shining back around in the most incredible way in this day in age! I mean the metaphor for this film is so true to what happens as you get older! It's been done a million times but not like this. I was cheering right along the whole theater.(early access passes!) I was crying through so much of the film.. critics are calling it the best Stephan king adaptation since the shining & They are so right! I mean it's a truly incredible film. So much is happening & u never feel lost OR over explained to like your an idiot! It's best to rewatch the shining before. Because it is straight up a sexual to it.Please see this in theaters you won't be sorry!
63 out of 104 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
it keep me awake the whole time!! Usually I fall sleep in theaters hahaha.
blyp2112 November 2019
I didn't read the book but I think most of the scenes where related whit the book. Very suspenseful and exciting!! Well done!!
12 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Rose the Hat
valentin_sieben4 November 2019
Rose is the real strong point of Doctor Sleep. She is beatifull, deadly, disturbing. another one is the storytelling. our ways are the old ways, indeed. what is good may never die. doctor sleep because sleep or death it must be, one at the time and not, in truth. go see it.
25 out of 38 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
More of a homage than sequel to The Shining, but still very good.
cbalogh-353-86978411 November 2019
The Shining is tied with Alien as my favorite film of all time (a solid third place is Muriel's Wedding). As much as a sequel is not necessary in any way, I can't deny the excitement of seeing a great director dedicated to honor Stanley Kuprick's visual style. Mike Flanagan (haunting of hill house, Oculus, Hush) is probably the best horror director we've had in a long time. It looked and felt terrific. The story is unnecessary. And most importantly I loved seeing a new Wendy doing her best Shelley Duvall. A-
13 out of 18 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Not perfect but you won't care!
Curmudgeonist31 October 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Spoilers ahead. A little slow at the beginning in the same style as the original movie. Once it gets going though it was great. Loved the villains. Definitely made me hate them. Loved the new character, Abra. Loved the ghost mentor and Danny turning the tables on the hotel ghosts with the boxes. Loved the Dark Tower references.

Some minor stuff wasn't perfect which is why a 9/10. Danny's friend/sponsor seemed thrown away without much emotional affect or logic. He and Danny were approaching the RV together. The girl comes out and lucky for her Danny is out of ammo but doesn't notice? Then his friend is nowhere to be found while she is about to kill him until the cliché close eyes gunshot, bad guy gets shot scene. Wtf was he doing behind the car all of a sudden?? The scene in the hotel with taking her into the hedge. Cool but why didn't the leg cuts carry over to when she came out. And a better plan would be get her into Danny's head and while she's running around a maze in her mind, Abra runs up and kills or incapacitates her back in real life. The scenes of Danny turning into bad and chasing Abra around the hotel were not great. She looked like she was barely jogging for one. And it was just kinda cheesy and in service to a callback.

With all that being said I was sorry to lose Danny but I like the passing of the torch and that he lives on as an Obi Wan force/shine/steam ghost for Abra. Great stuff and I hope they make more with more Stephen King connected universe villains for her to fight and different Shine users to discover.

Not perfect but with the minor exceptions I mentioned, I loved it! Definitely recommend!
34 out of 55 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Fantastic sequel to The Shining.
jamesmgarand7 November 2019
I really enjoyed this film. It's a very different type of film than The Shining. I will say this though and I don't care who disagrees with me.....the acting is much better overall in this film than in The Shining. This was also a great way for Mike Flanagan to pay homage to the best writer of the past 50+ years, or at least since he came into the game, at the very least (Stephen King...yes, Stephen King is better than Dean Koontz, Anne Rice, Clive Barker, etc) and Stanley Kubrick, one of the best Directors and certainly one of the most influential Directors of all time. Mike Flanagan did a great job with this film. Doctor Sleep is at it's best when it's being it's own movie. It didn't need The Shining to be really good. It did that on it's own and I wish it would've been like that the whole film. At the same time though, it was cool, nostalgic, and still fun to go back and visit The Shining at times. Lol. I'm trying to be careful with my words and not spoil anything. I also thought Mike Flanagan did a masterful job at making an overall faithful (for the most part) adaptation of the Doctor Sleep Novel by Stephen King and making a sequel to both Stephen King's The Shining Novel and Stanley Kubrick's The Shining film. That had to be an incredibly difficult thing to do but Mike Flanagan pulled it off very well. Kudos to him for that. A job well done.

I think King/the novel fans and Kubrick/the movie fans will like Doctor Sleep. Heck, I've always preferred The Shining Novel by Stephen King over Stanley Kubrick's The Shining movie and even I enjoyed this Doctor Sleep film as not just a sequel to The Shining Novel but also as a sequel to The Shining movie. Great job, Flanagan. Great job to everyone involved. I liked IT Chapter Two. I thought it was overall good or at least had more good things about it than bad. I also liked a couple of other Stephen King adaptations from this year and I think they're good as well but I do believe Doctor Sleep is the best of the bunch.

PS, don't believe all of the negative reviews of this film. Only a couple of them (that I've read) make a couple of valid criticisms. The rest just come off as Internet trolls or extreme Stanley Kubrick/The Shining movie fans or just don't like Stephen King the person, maybe due to his open political views or the fact that he hates Kubrick's The Shining movie or whatever. Just go see this film if you truly want to know whether you'll like it or not. I give it a 9/10 and I really enjoyed it. I thought it was really good.
24 out of 39 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Doctor Sleep may not diagnose you to the land of nod, but tediously drains your shining spirit.
TheMovieDiorama1 November 2019
Director Mike Flanagan had an unfathomable task. To both adapt a Stephen King novel, which is no easy achievement considering his uniquely descriptive writing style, and provide a sequel to what many describe as "the greatest horror film of all-time". Quenching the thirst of King's avid readers and cinephiles alike. So even without divulging my own opinion on Doctor Sleep, applause must be given for just producing this feature. That, unfortunately for Flanagan, doesn't result in myself excusing specific inexcusable filmmaking tendencies that taint, not just Doctor Sleep, but various decaying intellectual properties that have been unnecessarily drudged up again.

An alcoholic scarred Dan Torrance, having endured the irrevocable dangers of the Overlook Hotel ('The Shining'), has his peace shattered when he encounters a young extrasensory girl whom is being hunted down by shine-draining monsters.

First and foremost, I have not read the novel, although this should not come as a surprise. I have however, watched 'The Shining' multiple times. Now, what promotes the aforementioned horror as the best of its kind, is legendary Stanley Kubrick using the essence of King's novel and essentially making his own iteration of it. One that the renowned supernatural writer still, to this day, has mixed emotions for. So for Flanagan to introduce some faithful interpretations of Doctor Sleep, whilst maintaining the cinematic endeavour that Kubrick meticulously crafted, is as I said, unfathomable. And there's a perfectly valid reason for that. The overtly supernatural strands of the novels do not complement the genesis of terror from Kubrick's film. Which is why, with great regret, I have to report that Doctor Sleep does not work. It doesn't.

A beastly behemoth that, whilst does stand on its own two legs, relies on heavy-handed storytelling techniques and nostalgia to tackle both mediums that inspired it. In tonality, they are irrefutably different from each other. But before the disappointing third act is tackled, let's address some positives first.

Doctor Sleep is a shining example of depicting childhood trauma and how fragmented coping mechanisms are embedded throughout adulthood. Young Danny imaginatively designs mental traps so that he can hold the starving ghosts from the Overlook in captivity. Yet that wilful mentality does not prevent him from suffering with alcoholism, substance abuse and an insalubrious lifestyle that masquerades the trauma instead of curing it. Thematically, this is powerful, and grants the narrative a solid cohesion throughout. For the first two hours, you subconsciously warm to Danny due to the tormenting fears he has established throughout the two films. He's a pillar of "the shining". McGregor consistently captivated by depicting a fragile mentality through a physically demanding performance, maintaining the entranced demeanour of his younger character.

The first hour, that heavily explained "the shining" and the intentions of the merciless antagonists The True Knot, experienced inconsistent tones due to the mass sprawl of locational change. One minute we're in a sleepy town, the next a woodland area, and then all of a sudden eight years have been and gone. The zippy nature of the editing and bloated exposition resulted in atmospheric terror being abolished. The tension was non-existent, and the imitation of Kubrick's directing style paled in comparison.

Then, the second hour commenced, which is by far one of the strongest acts the year has yet to offer. Flanagan retained a surprisingly dark tone that, was so shocking, forced audience members to leave the auditorium. The mind-space of Abra, a precocious teenager who has "shine", produced a transcendental imaginative battle against Rose the Hat, leader of The True Knot. Ferguson, who portrayed the primary antagonist, was sensational. Equalling the likes of Pennywise as one of the most enthralling King villains ever depicted. Sinister, unrelenting and bordering on near-lunacy. Controlling every scene from just her eyes alone, she enhanced the palpable tension. She made the second act. In fact, she made the film. The interjecting gore and darkness throughout the middling act abruptly astonished me, and settled for a direction that I thought would control the underwhelming first act.

The third act then arrives, and the entire story crumbles much like the Overlook itself. Plagued by an overshadowing sickness that 'The Shining' had produced. Nostalgia. Remember that time where Jack viciously chopped the bedroom door down with an axe? Or that moment where blood came hurtling through the hallways in slow motion? What about Room 237? The introductory swooping camera movement that Kubrick embraced whilst the Torrance's drove to the hotel? The typewriter? Slowly walking up the stairs in a confrontational manner? The snow-covered hedge maze? The twins? No? You don't remember? Flanagan has got you covered. Nostalgia is a powerful tool, yet it must be handled with delicacy. The difference between imitating and homaging is very fine, and unfortunately Flanagan settled for the former.

So much of 'The Shining' is replicated in the third act, scene for scene, that it was a near-identical copy without the textual substance that accompanied them originally. The re-casting of the original actors, despite Essoe bettering Duvall's performance (although not difficult), felt unnecessary. Almost tarnishing 'The Shining' in itself. Danny walking through the dilapidated hallways for ten minutes whilst Flanagan incorporates identical sequences, had no purpose other than to forcefully remind you that this is the sequel. Literarily, it never progresses Danny's character or the plot. Rose the Hat staring at the blood-spewing elevators? Pointless. Danny staring at an axe encased in glass? A suitable nod to its predecessor. Do you see the difference? Between imitation and homage? The third act was littered with falsified copies, preying on the nostalgia of fans. It's uninspired. It's mundane. And it made me a dull boy.

Creatively, Doctor Sleep managed to infuse the very best of its adapted novel and preceding feature, but embellished the very worst techniques when conveying the plot. Psychologically stimulating without installing dread. Extrasensory without testing the senses. Dimly shining amongst King's supernatural adaptations.
71 out of 133 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
A return to the good old Stephen King days!! 👍
clarkishome5 November 2019
Even if you weren't privileged enough to see the Shining, oh so many years ago. Dr. Sleep stands on its own merits. Ewan McGregor showed his acting prowess, as well as Kyliegh Curran's role As Abra was refreshingly enjoyable. If you are a Stephen King fan it is a must see, and even if you're not you will thoroughly enjoy this movie. 😎
23 out of 38 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Worth the 40 year wait!
draggonrg9 November 2019
This movie was all around a great film. Near perfect casting with a great story. Loved it.
17 out of 27 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews


Recently Viewed