Even in the Darkness, This Movie Shines

James Howell, Reporter

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Doctor Sleep, the adaptation to Stephen King’s novel of the same name and sequel to Stephen King’s The Shining, will surely keep you wide awake!

Doctor Sleep is directed by Mike Flanagan and stars Ewan McGregor as all grown up Danny Torrance, still traumatized by the events he experienced as a child at the Overlook Hotel.

When the film starts, Danny Torrance is an alcoholic living in Florida, spending his time at the bar and sleeping with random women. After one more one night stand, Danny realizes what his life has become and moves northeast to start over. The majority of the rest of the film takes place eight years later in a small Northeastern town. Danny is a recovering alcoholic and rarely uses his shine, but on occasion he uses it to talk to a girl with the same shining powers. The girl, Abra, has a lot of these powers, and uses them to find Rose the Hat, who feeds on people’s shine through pain and fear. The rest of the film is Danny and Abra taking on Rose and her gang.

This film serves as a hybrid film, perfectly encapsulating both Stephen King’s vision for the film, while also serving as a sequel to Stanley Kubrick’s version of The Shining, which Stephen King has notoriously noted that he is not a fan of. However, Stephen King has announced that Doctor Sleep was great, and even makes him like Kubrick’s The Shining a little bit more.

“I don’t want to get into a big argument about how great the Shining film is that Kubrick did or my feelings about it,” said King in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. “All I can say is, Mike took my material, he created a terrific story, people who have seen this movie flip for it, and I flipped for it, too. Because he managed to take my novel of Doctor Sleep, the sequel, and somehow weld it seamlessly to the Kubrick version of The Shining, the movie. So, yeah, I liked it a lot.”

I enjoyed this movie, as well. It had a great amount of suspense, but also thorough amounts of emotion between the action scenes. Rebecca Furgeson, who played Rose the Hat, stole every scene she was in. Her character was terrific, mesmerizing, and absolutely terrifying! Kyliegh Curran, who portrayed Abra, was also amazing in every scene, especially considering this is only her second major production.

The film’s final showdown in the Overlook Hotel was sensational and astonishing, taking the viewers back into the familiar and eerie hotel in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. There, we encounter all of the evil entities that we met in the first film, including the ghostly bartender, the blood-filled elevator, the naked old lady from room 237, and yes, the scary twins.

Mike Flanagan’s Doctor Sleep is the perfect mix of an adaptation and a sequel. Go see Doctor Sleep, now playing in theaters.