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Doctor Sleep Though Faithful to King, It Just Doesn’t Quite Work as a Sequel Grade: C

Source: IMDB


Have you ever wondered what a sequel to the classic horror film The Shining would look like? No, you never wondered what that might look like?! Well have no fear: DOCTOR SLEEP is here! YAY! Doctor Sleep is a sequel to Kubrick's classic horror film The Shining. Little Danny (Ewan McGregor) is all grown up now, as he was a struggling alcoholic. But now sober in a little town in New Hampshire, having a pen pal with a little girl named Abra (Kyliegh Curran) whom shares the same powers he has (Didn't know he had powers to begin with), as he put his demons in a casket in his mind, looks like everything is all great for Danny now... WRONG! Danny has to deal with evil dark magicians, whom feed off kids shine (Soul, Life Line, whatever) so they can secure youth for entirety. Now Danny and Abra must defeat these dark magicians, so young kids can stop dying and going missing. The Cinematography was solid in this, many shots looked pretty good. Maybe the only aspect I didn't like from it, it's over use of blue, also redoing the entire opening theme again when Danny and the girl go back to the hotel location. But other than that it's a well shot film with some nice set designs. The Score was honestly ok, other than reusing The Shining theme, I honestly forgot about the entire thing. The cast in this film all in all were fine. I felt Ewan McGregor had the best performance by far and certainly the most interesting part of this film. I enjoyed watching Danny battle through his problem with alcohol and trying to bury the hatchet with his demons, was far more interesting then any of that magician nonsense. The antagonist Rose the Hat... Good God that's a corny name for a character, played by Rebecca Ferguson was fine however I found this character extremely corny. Maybe it's the fact this character doesn't belong for a Shining sequel, it just felt too silly in nature as the Shining took itself way more seriously than a silly magician you would see out of Yu Gi Oh. Perhaps one scene regarding butchering a kid was the only thing that made this character worth being intimidated by, but after that I just laugh the entire time watching this character. No other performances were bad other than the mother and daughter in the opening and new actors playing little Danny and his mother as well. So luckily I can take care of my flaws and praises all in one. Stanley Kubrick made one of the most fascinating horror films of all time, don't believe me watch Room 237 documentary... No other horror film can make that many people, try to discover the many hidden theories behind that film. You can say The Shining is also a bold horror film, given the fact Stanley Kubrick went ahead and adapted Stephen King's novel, but made changes. Stephen King hates this film to this day because Kubrick had his own vision for it and just didn't care about being 100% faithful to the novel. Given the fact Kubrick is a genius and King though a great author, but is known to have terrible endings.. I applaud Kubrick's choice making. If you have a vision and have full faith in your vision, go for it, life is all about risks worth taking and it truly paid off. Now we have a sequel made by Mike Flanagan, a horror film maker people love but in my opinion he's inconsistent. Due to the success he did with previous King adaptions, it's no wonder studios had given a chance on him for this project. Flanagan this time around stayed put and stay faithful to the novel. The end result?! Well let's put it this way: It's not The Shining, it's not a sequel to Kubrick's Shining even though it's a sequel to The Shining, however despite my issues with the film... It's not entirely bad at all. The main problem I have with this film is it feels like two different movies are being played at once, when it should be focusing on one. People would probably hate what I would've wanted out of a Shining sequel, but I was more invested in Danny's battle with being an alcoholic. I found the whole burying the hatchet with his demons and especially that great scene with his father at the house in the third act, to be way more interesting, than any of the magician stuff. Sure it won't scare anybody nor will it entertain anybody because it's more a character study drama, with a hint of horror here and there... But that's what a Shining sequel needed to be in order for it to work. The entire thing with the magician side of this story just feels like a whole different movie, that just feels out of place, like I probably be fine with it being it's own movie than being apart of The Shining. I believe it's faithful to the novel and is affiliated with The Shining, but the problem is it's affiliated with King's Shining and not Kubrick's Shining, that's why it doesn't flow correctly. Were there some parts I like from the magician side?! Sure probably a couple things. Like I said earlier Rose the Hat butchering that child's shine was pretty intense and even disturbing, also I enjoyed that shootout scene and found it bad ass. I just wish the magician stuff was not involved with this film at all and be it's own thing, but it just doesn't work as a Shining sequel. I also found the pacing to be slow, this a very long movie and not much is developed regarding knowing our villains in this film. It's one of those movies where you can somewhat understand praise and hate, but for me is just felt like a mixed bag for me. Overall, Doctor Sleep was honestly alright and nothing special. I'd wait for this film on DVD, give it a try for yourself . -Mitch Smietana

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