FilmMovie ReviewsMovie Review – Doctor Sleep (2019)

JulieGSeptember 12, 20208 min

Originally published on The Broken Quill

IMDb Rating: 7.4/10 R | 2h 32min | Drama, Fantasy | 07 Nov 2019 (New Zealand) | Movie Metacritic: 59/100 Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 77% Certified Fresh (Critics), 89% Fresh (Audiences) Director: Mike Flanagan Writer: Mike Flanagan, Stephen King Stars:  Ewan McGregor, Rebecca Ferguson, Kyliegh Curran Movie Tagline: “The World will Shine Again.” IMDb summary:  Years following the events of The Shining (1980), a now-adult Dan Torrance must protect a young girl with similar powers from a cult known as The True Knot, who prey on children with powers to remain immortal. Who knew that Danny, the little kid from The Shining, had superpowers? I didn’t and I’ve seen The Shining multiple times. So fast-forward a good 20-odd years and our boy Danny has grown into a maladjusted human being who only likes two things in life; alcohol and running from his “demons” who end up being real. No, really, and it’s not just Danny who sees them, which I’ll get too soon. You might think, what could connect this film to The Shining other than Danny? And that’s a fair question. Well, without spoiling it, there are more distinct tie-ins further on in the film to The Shining, which I’m sure some fans will enjoy. I wasn’t very moved. Kubrick’s The Shining was a lot more psychologically scary, disorientating and a little disturbing, which is why I enjoyed it. While Mike Flanagan did an alright job of integrating some “what the hell just happened?” mood into Doctor Sleep, it really didn’t grip me half as much as similar scenes in The Shining did.
Via TMDb
The fantastical aspect of the film is very much fantastical with lovely shots of the night sky, floating people and bird’s-eye views of the city lights. But there was something that didn’t fit with the villains of this story. Rebecca Ferguson as the villain Rose, The Hat, was cool and ethereal-like – I definitely see the likeness to Stevie Nicks in her character. She was everything you’d expect a villain to be; a little creepy, a little aggressive, all the while hiding a very dangerous secret under her cool but enormous hat. The link between our hipster-looking villain and her gang and Danny is explained, which is why this film is a sequel to The Shining, but it doesn’t feel like it is. Danny accidentally stumbles upon this very special friend named Abra who is linked to him through The Shining (the superhero power mentioned earlier). That is what Danny calls it, so we’ll call it that too. The Shining then becomes this “thing” but I think I liked it more when it was obscure and unexplained. To classify this film as a “horror” is a big stretch, even with the nasty bad guys who reminded me more of the vampire family in Twilight. And you can take that any way you like.

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Freelance entertainment writer and reviewer. Visit my blog on

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