Horror cinema has some incontestable icons, which we have all seen on occasion. Undoubtedly, one of the best known is The Shining, the Stanley Kubrick movie that became an instant classic when it was released in 1980. Its story is curious, because it was based on a Stephen King novel, but Kubrick changed both the events, that King himself ended up quite unhappy with the result, in fact, there is a much more faithful 1997 miniseries, which does have King's "blessing". In 2013, the novelist published the sequel to that book, called Doctor Sleep. Now, a very special Doctor Sleep movie arrives in theaters, which acts as a sequel to the Kubrick movie but, in turn, is based as much as possible on King's novel, watch it now to see how it is.
The story takes place several years after the Overlook hotel incidents, with an already grown-up Danny Torrance trying to drown out the ghastly visions of his glow by drinking like a riot. He has been lying down for a lifetime, getting temporary jobs and without a fixed course. When it seems that he begins to channel his life, a girl with a shining as powerful as his, Abra, manages to contact him from a distance. On the other hand, we know the machinations of the True Knot, a group of "ancient humans" who are able to extract the vital essence of people, especially those who have shining, to feed.
Now, Danny must choose what to do with his life as the threat of the True Knot becomes more and more growing. So far, everything coincides with what we see in the 2013 novel, but as we say, the movie Doctor Sleep wants to be a sequel to Kubrick's, so some things are changed with respect to the books: for example, in the original novel, Hallorann, Danny's mentor, survived the Overlook hotel, while in the movie, he died at the hands of Danny's father Jack Torrance. Therefore, while in the Doctor Sleep novel we see flashbacks of a Danny boy being advised by Halloran after the Overlook incident, it also appears in the film, but as a kind of paranormal vision that only Danny can perceive.
Broadly speaking, the main events of the film are common with respect to what was seen in the novel and, in fact, if you have read it, you will surely think "my God, this character is in the movie exactly the same as I had imagined." And it is necessary to recognize the effort made by director Mike Flannagan (yes, the person in charge of the great Curse of Hill House) to be faithful to Stephen King's novel while getting this movie to be, to all the effects, a continuation of the Kubrick movie.
And of course, this brings us to the cast, since the story has enough flashbacks that remind us when Danny was a child. Do we see Danny Lloyd or Shelley Duvall again, the scary Wendy Torrance? In these times when it is possible to see digitally rejuvenated actors (right, Samuel L. Jackson?), One might expect that they would have opted for that formula, but instead they opted for a casting of new actors who look-alike to the originals. Special mention for an Alex Essoe who nails the original interpretation of Shelley Duvall as Wendy Torrance or a Carl Lumbly that is tremendously similar to the already deceased Scatman Crothers who played Dick Hallorann.
Now, it's time to talk about the tone of this story. It must be made clear: Doctor Sleep is not a scary movie, it is rather a thriller with many paranormal elements. It is important that you go with that "chip" put to the cinema to enjoy more of the film. Still, there are some shocks here and there and, of course, you're going to get tired of seeing ghosts, some really scary. At all times, this atmosphere of restlessness reigns, of constant tension in the face of danger, at the same time that the different frames are coming together towards a very intense climax. There is also some drama and reflections about life and death, about the fear of the afterlife or about the need to turn the page. Watch it online to experience this genre its maximum expression.
Despite this, Doctor Sleep is a very satisfactory movie, which will hook you up if you are fans of the original movie, have you read the new novel or even if none of the previous options are given.