Doctor Sleep Is An Almost Perfect Sequel [Review]

doctor sleep poster

If you weren't aware Doctor Sleep is a sequel to The Shining that shows us what became of Danny Torrance after the events at the Overlook Hotel. If you haven't seen The Shining then maybe go watch it and come back... I'll wait.

For those of you that have seen The Shining but have yet to see Doctor Sleep then stop reading and just go see it right now. I'll be blunt it is fantastic and there is no why you will walk out thinking it was as good as the first. Now run along and watch then come back so I can tell you about the one thing I think would have made it perfect... I'll wait for you also.

Okay, are we all caught up? Because from here on out I probably going to drop a few spoilers, so this is your last chance to stop. Oh, you don't wanna stop reading? Okay, suit yourself.

Danny Torrance is still irrevocably scarred by the trauma he endured as a child at the Overlook Hotel and has caused him to become an alcoholic, like his father. Danny 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.

There is a lot to unpack here and the synopsis above doesn't really do the story justice but hopefully you get the gist of it. See there are a lot of people with the shine and that shine is the reason things went so bad for Danny as a child. The Hotel wanted him as food because of his power, but out in the world there are also people who want his power and those people have figured out a way to prolong life by draining anyone with a hint of shine.

The cast here is one of the best I have seen in a long time and Ewan McGregor steps into the role of Danny seamlessly. After all his films he still continues to bring performances to the screen that are head and shoulders above anyone else.

Mike Flanagan has really grown into the role of great director. What could have been a basic career has flourished recently with his adaptations of Stephen King's work. The more he makes the better he gets and that is no easy feat.

For all intents and purposes this is a perfect film, well, if you don't let one little detail hinder your experience. This is that spoiler I was talking about..

At the end of the film Danny knows the only way to beat Rose The Hat is to lure her to the Overlook Hotel and before that can happen he needs to "wake up" the hotel and it is at this point that he makes his way to the hotel bar and he see his father for the first time in 40 years.

The scene is good and Henry Thomas does a decent Jack Torrance but it would have been a lot heavier had they brought in Jack Nicholson to reprise the role. There are two ways they could have played it and both wold have worked. The option to de-age him is easier now more than ever or you let him be and show a beat down aged Jack Torrance who never left the bar. But just the act of getting Jack back for this scene who have been huge. Now is it possible they reached out to Jack and he said no? Sure, but him not being there in that role does spoil the moment.

With regards to the situation it doesn't break the film, it is just one of those things that would have provided "Fan Service" and excluding that the film is a perfect follow-up to The Shining and, most likely, the best horror movie of the year.

Rating: 9/10 Stars 

Rich Stile  @TheDevilsEyes1                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

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