Struggling with alcoholism, Dan Torrance remains traumatized by the sinister events that occurred at the Overlook Hotel when he was a child. His hope for a peaceful existence soon becomes shattered when he meets Abra, a teen who shares his extrasensory gift of the "shine." Together, they form an unlikely alliance to battle the True Knot, a cult whose members try to feed off the shine of innocents to become immortal.
Mike Flanagan as writer and director has delivered some immense and compelling films and TV shows. The most recent of note being the Netflix series The Haunting Of Hill House and Netflix original movies HUSH and Gerald’s Game.
Unfortunately this time around Flanagan bit off more than he could chew. The Shining is a cult classic, literally it’s revered among film fans… why? I’m not sure. I went to Doctor Sleep expecting to see a Stephen King adaptation like the recent hits that have come out from the likes of WB and Paramount. Thing is… Doctor Sleep is always fighting with itself as it tries to pay homage to a film adaptation King hated and being its own thing.
Doctor Sleep should have marched to the beat of its own drum because there’s no real way to discern what the issue with this film is. The running time is 40 mins too long. The acting is terrible considering the actors that are in this film, Rebecca Ferguson alone upset me cause I love her in everything she does but here as the villain, her character seemed out of place. Ultimately none of the characters really connected on screen which is a huge issue for a story like Doctor Sleep.
This plays out more like a lite version of the Lost Boys meets Near Dark.
Let's get it out of the way. The tit wank homage to Kubrick totally brought this film to its knees at many points. The audiences that would go and see this film based on The Shining hook alone probably isn't that big, the mainstream audience looking for a fun horror on a Saturday night? Those are the butts bringing in the bucks and the marketing just hasn't appealed to those people. The film itself reflects so much on Kubricks 'opus' that it forgets to carve its own desitny. We look too much on Danny Torrence' back story than we do on the future generation that's in danger. Which by the way Kyliegh Curran as Abra is one to watch, had she not been central to the plot and a welcome talent then we probably would have walked out before the end credits.
Danny's story could literally be told in a two minute monologue and we could literally get to the nut. The return to the Overlook happens too late, yeah Danny is terrified but with Abra there it was an opportunity to expand on the horrors he faced as a child and as people with "the shine" they all have to face at some point.
There's just too much going on but it all seems like nothing when you deconstruct what's happening on screen. It's a waste of time that has little to no reward for the average viewer. Save your money, go elsewhere, there's better films on in theaters and cinemas at the moment.
We can't even bring ourselves to discuss Ewan McGregor who comes across like more of an Obi Wan who has lost his way rather than a survivor of abuse... Urgh! Feel so unclean! Lock this film away... lock it away in a box so it can never be seen again!