Doctor Sleep (2019) A Review

Some Films just don’t need a sequel, Doctor Sleep really did make me feel sleepy.


DIRECTOR:  Mike Flanagan

STARRING:  Rebecca Ferguson, Ewan McGregor, Carel Struycken

SCREENPLAY: Stephen King (novel by), Mike Flanagan (screenplay)

GENRE:  Horror/Thriller

RUNTIME:  151 Minutes

★★★ 3 Stars  

If you go into this film expecting it to be anything like Stanley Kubrick’s 1980s masterpiece of horror, you will leave disappointed.  Let’s just start there.

Little Danny Torrence is now a grown man, and still haunted by the things that happened to him at the Overlook Hotel when he was a kid (understandably).  Most days he drinks his hours away to silence the voices in his head.  On a whim he travels to a new town and wile there, gets his life together, and meets a young girl Abra, who ‘Shines’ just like he does. Against his will he ends up protecting her from a group of powerful psychics, lead by Rose the Hat, who hunt young children with psychic powers in order to feed on them to make themselves live forever.  In order to keep Abra safe Danny is forced to return to the overlook hotel and face his ghosts, in ore ways than one.

Generally, this isn’t a BAD film.  It’s entertaining enough.  The problem is, it’s following one of the most iconic horror movies ever made and it hard to forget that.  There are a few great nods to the original, using both cinematography and sets and props to jog the memory of anyone who ever saw the original movie, so that’s fun. But the plot is a little slow for me and lacked punch.

Sadly most of this film was just…meh.  It lacked the nail biting atmosphere that ‘The Shining’ had in spades.  It lacked a lot of fear of any kind really.  The recurring visuals (The naked Lady in the Bathtub for example) that were meant to be scary, by the end just induced eye rolls form me and while the acts of Rebecca Ferguson and her group of cannibalistic psychics were horrific, they weren’t really scary.  After the amazing experience of watching ‘The Shining’ last week in the theatre, watching ‘Doctor Sleep’ was just disappointing.  I expected more.

You do wait the whole film to see Danny return to the Overlook, and then when we finally get there, its anti-climactic and not really worth waiting for. Everything they do there to try and scare you has already bee done, you aren’t shocked by anything you see. You can tell the director was trying to incorporate things from the first film, but his just comes off as a cheap imitation.

But hey, don’t take my word for it.  Go see for yourself and leave a comment below.


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