It has been 39 years since we last entered Overlook Hotel. It has been nearly 40 years since The Shining came out and the classic is still embedded in everybody’s head. Stanley Kubrick did a great job in adapting Stephen King’s novel, despite some controversy between the two creators. One’s taste did not match the other’s but as for us viewers, the film is such a classical masterpiece. So, this just raises the question: Should there really be a sequel? Honestly, if you ask me, I’d say yes. While the first movie was widely loved by many people, it was just a so-so for me. It was classified as a horror movie but I wasn’t scared, not even once! I saw it instead as a creative adaptation of family abuse. And at the core of the story, it truly is. The sequel to it, Doctor Sleep, changed my mind about the movie. It made me appreciate it even more as it dove deeper into its lore. So, Bingers, here is my review of Mike Flanagan’s Doctor Sleep.
Doc is Now Doctor Sleep
Do you still remember Danny and his iconic scene of biking around the halls of the Overlook Hotel? I bet the image of him running around his bicycle over the patterns of the hotel’s carpet is still fresh in your memory! Remember that because that boy is now a man. Danny, or Doc, is now Doctor Sleep. After escaping the trauma that he and his mother, Wendy, experience from his dad, Jack, at the hotel, he is now trying to live past it. But it is just not that simple to do! The movie graciously showed us their life after the events of The Shining. To an extent, it served as a refresher to those who haven’t seen the first movie in a long time. I particularly loved the casting for a young Wendy because she had similarities to Shelley Duval.
Doctor Sleep tried its best blend the past with the present, and even the future. In the first movie, we were just given an overview of the phenomenon called The Shining. To put it in layman’s term, the shining is a special ability that few people have. Think of them as the mutants form the X-Men! It has long been established that Danny is one of them and in the sequel, there are more of them.
Look for The Shine
For every prey, there is a predator, and that is where this group of a cult-like villains enter the picture. Rose the Hat (Rebecca Ferguson) plays this soon-to-be-iconic villain in Doctor Sleep. She heads the group of individuals who feeds off the shine of some gifted individuals. Their ways are ruthless and utterly terrifying. Fear and pain is the source of their life and feeding off innocent children is what they do best. Most of the film had them at the spotlight and I got no problem with it. Ferguson’s performance as the cunning and beautifully terrifying villain is such a joy to watch! To a point, I wished to see a movie just revolving around her group’s freaky ways.
Doctor Sleep is a more than just a horror movie. It has a deeper narrative underneath its terrifying facade. It is, in fact, more about how the present generation fights to have their shot at leaving a mark and shining despite the older one’s attempts at stealing it from them and I think that’s beautifully relevant. The film has a rich story but even richer characters. It tells a story that not only will terrify you but will also leave you thinking about its greatness!
Director: Mike Flanagan
Cast: Ewan McGregor, Rebecca Ferguson
Binge-level: 5 out of 5 stars