By lacing Kubrick’s aesthetics into King’s new story, Flanagan also offers a splendid deconstruction of the original 1980 film. This is just the kind of thing that can happen in his world. Perhaps we’ll see more of the young killer in the director’s cut.
doctor sleep cast imdb – Critic Reviews For Doctor Sleep
Doctor Sleep” is the continuation of Danny Torrance’s story 40 years after the terrifying events of Stephen King’s The Shining. Those “RV people” are actually evil supernatural beings, “empty devils” who are very long-lived if not actually immortal: “Once they rode camels in the desert; once they drove caravans across eastern Europe. They eat screams and drink pain.” (It is always satisfying when a newly minted myth can be shown to retrospectively explain earlier superstitions.) Dan and Abra at one point explicitly discuss the generic taxonomy of these enemies: they are a bit like vampires, but not really. Such namechecking of generic reference points helps to add the dimension of popular art to King’s brilliantly simulated normality.
In the end, Doctor Sleep” is a little too connected to its predecessor to take wing (or even to be all that scary). I enjoyed it for the Shining” connections, but at this point we can let the ghosts of the Overlook go back to sleep.
In Doctor Sleep, the villains are not the vengeful ghosts of a cursed hotel, but a group of semi-immortals who call themselves the True Knot. They travel the country in RV’s and hunt people with the shining. When they catch them, the True Knot kills these people by torturing them to death and inhaling their souls (they call it “steam”).
Flanagan’s Doctor Sleep draws heavily on elements in the book version of The Shining that Kubrick didn’t use, restaging some unused scenes from the original novel with the characters from King’s Doctor Sleep. Flanagan has some fun with it too, hinting that he’s about to recreate one of the original novel’s most horrifying acts of violence, then skipping it. But most importantly, he at long last lets the boiler destroy the hotel as King intended.
As a hospice orderly, he tells dying patients that they have nothing to fear: It’s simply like going to sleep. And when one expresses fear that on the other side there’s simply nothing, Danny reassures him that’s not the case.
Writer-director Mike Flanagan’s adaptation of Doctor Sleep works somewhat better on this front, staging several showy sequences of psychic warfare and managing a relatively consistent tonal strangeness, in which the timing of everything is just little bit distorted, like a 33 rpm record played at 45 rpm.
Rose arrives at the Overlook. Dan and Abra pull her consciousness into Dan’s mind, which resembles the Overlook’s endless hedge maze. Dan tries to trap her in an imaginary box but fails. Rose, attracted by Dan’s shining, invites him to join the cult, but he refuses. When she overpowers him and begins consuming his steam, Dan opens the boxes, releasing the Overlook’s hungry ghosts. Rose, being a psychic vampire, is vulnerable to direct attacks by the ghosts. They brutally kill Rose, consuming her steam and then possessing Dan. He and the ghosts pursue Abra to Room 237. She tells the hotel that Dan sabotaged the boiler. Dan, regaining momentary control, tells her to flee. Possessed, he rushes to the boiler room but regains control before the hotel can make him deactivate it. Flames engulf the room. In his last moment, Dan sees a vision of himself as a child being embraced by his mother Wendy. Abra watches helplessly as the hotel burns down just as the authorities approach.
A sequel to “The Shining” – which finds a middle ground between King’s original 1977 novel and Stanley Kubrick’s seminal 1980 movie – “Doctor Sleep” (★★★ out of four; rated R; in theaters Nov. 8) catches up with Danny Torrance ( Ewan McGregor) decades after his crazed dad tried to kill him at their horrifyingly spooky Colorado lodging.
This isn’t obvious at first glance. When casual moviegoers think of “The Shining,” their minds instantly conjure up some of the most iconic scares in the history of cinema: alcoholic hotel caretaker and aspiring writer Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) smashing a bathroom door with an axe and gleefully proclaiming “Here’s Johnny!”; young child Danny Torrance (Danny Lloyd) having visions of elevator doors opening up and releasing waves of blood through the hallways; Danny riding his tricycle through the hotel and encountering two young girls, both ghosts, who urge him to “come play with us, forever and ever”; the word “redrum” being repeated by Danny until his mother realizes that it is “murder” spelled backward; dutiful and timid wife Wendy (Shelley Duvall) reacting with terror as she sees that her husband spent the countless hours in his study not writing a book, as he claimed, but retyping the sentence “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” thousands of times.
Six years ago, Stephen King returned to The Shining with Doctor Sleep. Kinda. The book tracks the tormented life of an adult Dan Torrence as he struggles with alcoholism (his father’s disease), and battles a band of soul(a.k.a. steam)-sucking vampires who travel the country eating up children who share his particular gift. Doctor Sleep is a gut-churning exploration of how past trauma leaves its marks on your psyche and how connecting to your human neighbors is the only way to alleviate such pain. What it is not is a sequel to the terrors once glimpsed in Stanley Kubrick‘s Overlook Hotel.
There’s a plodding logic to Doctor Sleep” and a grounded, workmanlike approach to the material. Flanagan’s a rising star in horror whose sensibility I find a bit on the drab side (he recently helmed an underwhelming adaptation of King’s Gerald’s Game” for Netflix) but is perhaps ideal for more literal-minded genre fans who haunt Reddit threads and Vox explainers.
Utter garbage and a disgrace to a horror masterpiece that was Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. Without a doubt the worst film I’ve seen this year. This was Halmark Channel tier Shining Parody Electric BoogielessBoo. Danny Torrance confronts his past in Doctor Sleep.
When Kubrick’s film starts to assert itself, particularly in the inevitable journey to the Overlook, Doctor Sleep starts to feel like secondhand cinema, drafting off the inimitable genius of another director. The True Knot rituals are mostly a bore — the usually excellent Ferguson tries way too hard to project sinewy menace — but the direct evocation of The Shining only serves as a reminder that these things that used to terrify us don’t seem so threatening anymore. Those ghastly twins, REDRUM, Lloyd the bartender, the dreaded ax — all uncanny echoes in the audience’s mind, just as they are in Dan’s. They’re no longer scary in their new context.
King also reveals that the Knot maintains certain “company towns” as safe havens by controlling small business through shell corporations. One of these towns is Sidewinder, which just happens to be the nearest small town in Colorado to the Overlook Hotel Whether they were aware of it or not, the Knot always had a connection to the place where Dan Torrance’s life changed forever.
The story follows an adult Danny — now played by Ewan McGregor — as he attempts to escape both a family tradition of alcoholism and his own psychic powers. There’s trouble brewing, however; a band of malevolent creatures led by the sassy Rose (Rebecca Ferguson) is hunting, torturing and devouring anyone with a hint of shine” to them.
Ready Player Torrance: With Doctor Sleep, Flanagan acts as a mediator between King and Kubrick — and really, he’s always been up for the task. As he proved with 2017’s Gerald’s Game — and even last year’s brilliant series adaptation of Shirley Jackson‘s The Haunting of Hill House , a pseudo-exercise for this project, in hindsight — he’s almost a historian when it comes to source material. He treats it as scripture, clutching on to all the minutiae in translation. Granted, that also worked against his favor for Gerald’s Game, namely for its jarring coda that’s ripped straight from King’s novel, but his filtration system has only improved. In fact, it’s on fire. He takes everything we cherish about Kubrick’s vision — the stoic horror, the lingering dread, the iconic aesthetics — and uses it to fuel King’s narrative. But he improves upon that narrative by trimming the fat to make it his own.
In addition to using those plans, Mike Flanagan studied every miniscule piece of detail from The Shining and made sure that he and his crew used iPads to scour Doctor Sleep’s set and compare each and every element to what had been seen nearly 40 years prior.
Doctor John is the bridge between Danny and Abra’s family in the book. He convinces Abra’s family the two both have special powers. They can live thousands of years, but look like regular old people. One, in particular named Rose wants Abra BAD. Dan decides to help her and battle the True Knot.
If you are looking for a direct sequel to The Shining that recaptures the same sense of claustrophobic terror as the original, you are going to be disappointed. It does try to go for scares here and there, but on that level it comes nowhere close to it’s predecessor. If, on the other hand, you are looking for the next story in the life of Danny Torrance then you will probably find this much more satisfying.
For years, it seemed like Danny would finish what the Overlook Hotel had started: That is, to finish himself off. After his mother died, Danny lost himself in an avalanche of booze and drugs and barfights, apparently determined to bring himself and his mysterious shining”—the extrasensory abilities he was both blessed and cursed with—to an ignominious, messy end.
In the book: When Dan’s at Concetta’s bedside, he learns that his father had a child with her years ago. Abra’s mother is his half-sister, making the young girl his niece. Rose the Hat (Rebecca Ferguson) ponders her thermos full of shining steam” in a scene from Doctor Sleep.” Photo: Jessica Miglio , Warner Bros.
Ewan McGregor as adult Danny Torrance had a great performance, as he really did a fantastic job of showing how someone with a traumatic childhood experience would carry that into his adult life. He was reserved at times and also heavily emotional at others. Rebecca Ferguson as Rose, the leader of The True Knot, was really creepy and terrifying, completely different from her work in the Mission Impossible franchise. It was nice to see her branch out and try something different, and she pulled it off.
This movie could’ve just relied on using the nostalgia factor from the first film, but they did a good job of not relying on it and used flashbacks to bring The Shining” back to life. Hearing that haunting theme from “The Shining” as we see the Overlook Hotel for the first time brought me goosebumps.
We should give Danny props, of course, for turning his life around. He spent eight quiet, sober years in New Hampshire, humbly working for his keep and steadfastly rejecting the temptation to drink. Addictions aren’t easy to kick: That he did so effectively deserves a tip of the cap.