I had the pleasure of seeing an advanced screening of “Doctor Sleep” put on by Fandango last week. And although I was excited to see it, I was skeptical. I had seen Stanley Kubrick’s version of “The Shining” as a child and was never really fond of it. (And I’m a huge Stephen King/Horror movie fan – or fanatic, you might say.) It never frightened me and quite honestly, kinda bored me. I partially feel it was because Kubrick took too long getting to the next scene…the next big scare. However, I will say that he did help create the visually beautiful, yet eerie setting of the Overlook Hotel that we all fear today.
After years of wondering, we finally know what happened to little Danny Torrence. “Doctor Sleep” picks up right where “The Shining” left off. Besides the Torrence family, you are greeted by other familiar characters as the movie continues. The casting for this movie was top-notch! My favorite being Alexandra Essoe who plays Wendy Torrence. She completely captured Shelly Duval’s mannerisms, facial expressions, and overly-dramatic voice. It took me a moment to realize that it wasn’t Duval playing Danny’s mother. Ewan McGregor is cast as adult Danny Torrence and I applaud his performance. I don’t know who I would have picked to play him had it been up to me, but I’m satisfied that McGregor was chosen.
The movie gives us more of what we all wanted in the first one…more “shining”. You’ll learn more about it and what it really is. As well as be introduced to spellbinding new characters that also possess this gift. You didn’t think Danny or the Overlook were the only ones, did you? I mean, Hallorann did explain in “The Shining”…that many people possess the shine although “mostly don’t know it or don’t believe it”. I feel it was these thrilling new characters that really captured my attention throughout the movie. Seeing the different types of shine that one can possess and how powerful it can be really intrigued me. I wanted to know more! The movie also flashes back few a times giving us an updated version, yet still just as creepy view of the Overlook Hotel. This was the version I needed when I first watched “The Shining”.
This movie had me captivated from beginning to end. I didn’t know I needed a sequel to “The Shining”, but Mike Flanagan changed my mind with his movie version of “Doctor Sleep”. Although I didn’t find it truly scary (but keep in mind that it is hard to frighten me), I would give this film an 8/10 based on creativity, effects, and story-line alone.
-Casey Jo Denman, Nerdtropolis Movie Critic