Doctor Sleep (2019) – Movie Review

Doctor Sleep (2019) – Movie Review


Iím glad Room 217 actually gets to make an
appearance this time. Hey everybody, welcome to Mainely Movies. Today Iím gonna be talking about the 2019
Stephen King horror sequel: Doctor Sleep. If youíre new here, please consider subscribing
for a variety of movie-related content like reviews, ranked lists, and trailer reactions. All of my reviews include a breakdown of the
pros and cons, my rating, and some tailored film recommendations, so be sure to watch
through to the end of this video for all of that extra content. Doctor Sleep stars Ewan McGregor, Rebecca
Ferguson, and Kyliegh Curran and was directed by Mike Flanagan. Based on Stephen Kingís 2013 novel of the
same name, it tells the story of an adult Danny, played by Ewan McGregor, as he deals
with the emotional trauma of the events of The Shining, while also helping to protect
a young girl from a cult that hunts people who shine. 2019 has been a great year for Stephen King
fans. Weíve gotten three theatrically released
films, one Netflix movie, one new tv show, one renewed tv show, and a new book. Doctor Sleep serves as the endcap to this
banner King year and it does so quite satisfyingly. Before we really get into this review, there
are two relevant pieces of information about me that you need to know. First, I absolutely love Stanley Kubrickís
1980 adaptation of The Shining. In spite of its significant changes from the
novel (which I also adore), that film stands as not only one of my favorite horror movies,
but as one of my favorite movies of all time and it really was the movie that got me into
film criticism. The second thing you need to know? I still havenít read Doctor Sleep. I got the book only a few months after it
came out in 2013 and itís been sitting on my shelf ever since. After this movie was announced, I truly intended
to finally read it and even organized a book club of sorts with my fellow film reviews
over on Twitter, but I just ran out of time and, honestly, only made it seven pages in. I definitely still plan to read it at some
point, but for now, I canít comment on how the movie compares to the book. So, with those things in mind, letís talk
about Doctor Sleep. Thirty-nine years is a long time between an
original movie and a sequel. That on its own would be challenging for any
sequel. But, this isnít just any sequel. This is the sequel to The Shining; a film
thatís been heralded as a cinematic masterpiece for decades. So, that puts Doctor Sleep in a really unique
position cause its inherent connection to The Shining serves as both a detriment and
a benefit. It has some really big shoes to fill following
up a movie like The ShiningÖ arguably impossible to fill. This movie has to struggle with constant comparisons,
despite being its own story. Even if the movie was technically and cinematically
on par with the first one, it would still need to contend with nearly forty years of
fandom and nostalgia. That nostalgia is a double-edged sword though. While causing frustration and disappointment
in some people, itís gonna be the draw for others. Doctor Sleep benefits from having an already
established jumping off point. We already know Danny and what heís been
through, so very little time needs to be spent setting his character up here. On top of that, youíve got all of the things
that fans of The Shining can look at and say ìHey, I understand that!î which feels very
personal, despite many people having that same reaction. Thereís a certain level of nostalgic excitement
seeing the Overlook again; walking past the elevators or through the Gold Room, seeing
the typewriter and chopped up bathroom door. Hearing the hints of that ominous score or
even seeing the aerial shots of Danís car as he drives to the Overlook, perfectly mirroring
the opening shots of the original film. Thereís a lot of connections to The Shining,
but ultimately, Doctor Sleep is its own thing. The story itself is much more supernatural,
following in the footsteps of The Shining novel more so than the film adaptation. Ironically, the act of shining has a far more
significant role in the plot here than it does in The Shining and its integration into
the larger story was done nicely. This film is far more expansive, trading in
the claustrophobic psychological horror of The Shining for something more supernaturally
adventurous, giving this movie a very different feel than its predecessor. This helps to separate the two movies some,
but also results in a plot that feels very rushed due to its expansiveness. That rushed feeling is unfortunately very
common in film adaptations of Stephen King novels cause thereís usually so much to them. His plots frequently get pretty complex and
layered, so simplifications are often made to translate his stories to film. That usually means a lot of nuance and thematic
meaning is lost and, even in the best cases, relevant details are glossed over. Even without having read the novel yet, there
were a few points that I could tell were either glossed over or fast-forwarded through. It kept the plot moving, but definitely opened
up some gaps in the story that I wouldíve preferred to have seen filled, even if that
meant a slightly longer movie. Doctor Sleep is an excellent continuation
of the story, furthering many of the same themes found in The Shining. Although it takes a more supernatural approach,
itís still definitely about dealing with your inner demons. This movie takes its metaphors to the extreme
with Dannyís boxes, but it explores the idea of bottling things up and how doing that may
help in the moment, but can be draining and damaging in the long-run. It also tackles the concept of letting go
of the past, using past traumas and experiences to overcome present-day obstacles. It also spends a good deal of time on family
history and the inevitability of becoming like your parents, which is something that
Danny fears and struggles with throughout the movie. Doctor Sleep is certainly not The Shining,
but it doesnít try to be either. Alright, letís talk about the pros and cons. Pro number one has definitely gotta be the
connections to The Shining. I know I literally just got done talking about
how this movie isnít The Shining and sets itself apart, but as a huge fan of the original
movie, I canít help but be drawn to the familiar moments. Itís really satisfying seeing the care and
effort that went into crafting the return to the Overlook. Everything from the recreation scenes to the
mirrored shots from the first film are really well-done. Thereís a scene in this movie where Danís
sitting at the bar in the Gold Room. Not only is he sitting in the exact same seat
where his father had sat 39 years before, but his clothes are a reversed variant of
Jackís when he was there. In The Shining, Jackís got a red jacket with
a green plaid shirt. Here, Danís got a red plaid shirt with a
green jacket. There are a lot of little references and Easter
eggs like that scattered throughout this movie. Abraís address is 1980, the year that The
Shining was released. Danís first time following the cat at the
hospice, leads him into Room 217, which was the original number of the infamous hotel
room in The Shining novel, later changed to 237 in the movie. The second pro has to be the metaphors. Iím sure most of the credit here goes to
Stephen King and his source material. Iíll admit that some of the metaphors came
across a little obvious and maybe heavy-handed, but I think thatís the consequence of translating
something supernatural and intangible into something physical for the movie. The idea of confronting your present using
the pain of your past was really interesting and I think the mirrored struggles between
Jack and Danny provided pretty solid commentary on the long-lasting effects parents can have
on their kids. On the con side, the biggest issue was that
the plot felt rushed. Again, I think this is primarily due to condensing
a fairly complex novel into something more straight-forward for the screen. Itís kinda weird cause the plot feels rushed
and feels like its missing pieces at times, but the movie as a whole is on the slow side. Itís long, but I personally didnít feel
that length, with one exception. There was one scene of astral projection flying
that was abnormally dragged out. Iím gonna give Doctor Sleep 4 out of 5 paws. I always hope to like Stephen King movies,
but more often than not, Iím left disappointed by them, so itís always refreshing to get
a good one with a solid story and strong performances. I really have to read this novel now. I would recommend Doctor Sleep most obviously
to fans of The Shining, though I think people are gonna be a bit split on this one. Despite all of its connections to that movie,
this film has quite a few deviations. The cinematographyís perfectly fineÖ quite
good actually, but thereís no way it can compare to the technical aspects of The Shining,
so if youíre going in with that type of comparative mindset, this movieís gonna disappoint you. It also follows more in-line with Kingís
novels and takes a more supernatural fantasy adventure route than a psychological one,
so if youíre looking for a scary movie, thisíll be a bit underwhelming. If you liked Doctor Sleep, you know what my
number one recommendations gonna be: The Shining. Not only does it set-up the characters and
premise, but it serves as an introduction to the major themes that make an appearance
here. Plus, itís just a really fantastic movie. If you liked the idea of mental libraries
and boxes, you should check out Dreamcatcher. Itís another supernaturally-tinged Stephen
King movie that deals with isolation and past experiences. I would also recommend IT: Chapter Two for
another Stephen King movie that takes a look at the adult versions of kids exposed to supernatural
horror. Alright, a couple questions for you guys. Number one: Have you seen Doctor Sleep? If so, whatíd you think of it? And number two: Whatís another Stephen King
movie or book youíd like to see a sequel for? Be sure to leave your answers in the comments
below so we can get a discussion going. Alright, so if you got some enjoyment, insight,
or information out of this review, Iíd appreciate it if youíd hit that like button. And, if you havenít done so already, please
hit subscribe while youíre at it, to see more videos like this. Till next time, this has been Alyssa with
Mainely Movies: The way life should be.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. What do you think of Doctor Sleep? Is it a worthy follow-up to The Shining?

    Let me know in the comments below! ⬇️

  2. Haven't see it yet Alyssa, man I'm glad they went the book way this time, I'm sure we're gona see some cool stuff. Man I wonder how Danny's doing was he constantly being tormented during his childhood or did his mum, who can't swing a baseball bat lol, help him through it. I would like two see the mist two, you could have the army clean everything up, an don't you know it the army start doing experiments again, you know they would do it, another thing about the mist is you can't see anything, so everything is a jump scare. I also love the fog by carpenter, I think that's his name, fantastic review as always. Ps Alyssa who's the best character in this movie is it Danny or are they others that shine better, sorry had to do it lol.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *