There is no doubt that The Shining is one of the scariest movies to have made. From the legendary filmmaker Stanley Kubrick, the movie has undoubtedly terrified us as a kid and still continue to do so. ‘Redrum’, ghostly twin girls, and the unforgettable “Here’s Johnny” are all now part of cinema history and no movie has ever made such an ever-lasting impression on us like this one. Thirty-nine years after the theatrical release of The Shining, we are now finally getting a sequel. Directed by Mike Flanagan, Doctor Sleep is brilliantly crafted with a riveting story.
The supernatural thriller is the film adaptation of Stephen King’s 2013 novel and stands as a sequel to his previous book, The Shining. So in the traditional sense, we cannot say that the Doctor Sleep movie is a sequel to Kubrick’s The Shining (since Kubrick made a lot of changes in the source material.) However, the movie does recreate the atmospheric darkness left by its predecessor. Both fans of the original film and novels will be pleased.
The major portions of Doctor Sleep take place thirty years after the events at the Overlook Hotel. Danny Torrance (Roger Dale Floyd) is an adult now- but is traumatized into a broken shell of a man. He is struggling with his drinking habit and is moving from town to town. Eventually, a strange feeling brings him to New Hampshire. There, he finds out about a terrifying group of predators who hunts people with the ability to “shine.” The True Knot cult is led by Rose the Hat (Rebecca Ferguson), and they suck the life essence out of the gifted for their immortality. Danny starts communicating telepathically with a mysterious girl (Kyliegh Curran) who Rose is obsessed with finding. Danny must now save the girl from the True Knot.
The plot of the movie is intricate and is skillfully fleshed out. The narrative branches at the right pace with proper character development. Danny has a proper arc from being a despaired broken man to the hero of the story. Flashback scenes with his mother (Alex Essoe) from his childhood add an intriguing layer to the whole narrative.
Doctor Sleep is not about cheap scares. It is skilfull in building on the established lore of The Shinning and taking the story forward. The lack of CGI gimmickry is a blessing. Excellent performances from the lead actors and brilliant visual style from Mike Flanagan make the movie perfect. Considering what happened with It Chapter Two, Doctor Sleep is undoubtfully worthy enough to be called a classic movie adaptation.