Finally got to see my most anticipated film of the year and I'm happy to tell you it's everything I wished for and more. Flanagan has done an amazing job adapting the book from Stephen King and giving lovers of the Kubrick film adaptation of "The Shining" (1980) a cinematic sequel.
Now i read the book and while I enjoyed it for the most part, I found parts of it underwhelming. I feel in this film adaptation, Flanagan takes elements from the novel and manages to make them more darker and serious which in turn really helped address some issues I had with the book. He does make some serious changes though and while I embraced them I'm not sure how others who read the book will feel about them. "The Shining" (1980) to me and I'm sure a lot of you, is a masterpiece in filmmaking. I for one prefer it over the novel and with this film, it most certainly feels like a sequel to Stanley Kubrick's version and a love letter to that film. The last 30 mins or so are absolutely amazing and kudos to Flanagan for pulling it off.
Ewan McGregor does a great job as an adult Danny Torrance and Rebecca Ferguson captivates as Rose the Hat. The film sets a great tone with some stunning visuals and the score completely grabs you. How much you enjoy this film really depends on what you want out of it. There's practically no gore here and no cheap jump scares. What you'll get though is expert filmmaking from someone who you can tell really loves the source material he's pulling it all in from. Everything struck a balance for me that I was tremendously pleased with, top horror film of the year.
The ever-beautiful Rebecca Ferguson and a favorite from the Fargo series, Zahn McClarnon team up to bring us some somewhat scary, but more so eerie/creepy moments in this adaptation of King's Doctor Sleep. For the most part, and with the help of Ewan McGregor who plays an alcoholic, grown-up version of The Shining's Danny Torrence, they pull it off.While Doctor Sleep is a rather drawn-out and, mostly, slowish-moving film, it still has enough to it, to not lose one's attention. The story-line is solid and engaging, although those unfamiliar with the book and looking for outright horror and gore, will find little satisfaction. There are a couple of scenes which can be construed as "horrific", but in my opinion, Doctor Sleep is not really a "horror flick" by definition. To me, it is more like an intense drama about good vs evil, with a couple of well-done 'end-of-life' scenes thrown in. :)What I most enjoyed about it, is that in this day and age where practically every story ever has already been made into a movie, this one's plot was just a bit off the beaten path and came across as slightly new and original in its approach, while still pretty seamlessly tying it in to the well-known classic: The Shining.If I had to add one con, it would be a somewhat minor one, in that, at times, the girl who plays Abra (Kyliegh Curran), who also possesses 'the shining', and who can communicate with Danny, delivers her lines in almost a stone-like manner, and at other times as if she is rapidly reading. It occurred one too many times, and I found that it took me out of the movie for just a bit.While good, the scenes leading up to the ending are a bit predictable, and the 'showdown' (remember, good vs. evil) leaves a little to be desired. For the most part, however, I can live with it, seeing as Rebecca Ferguson saves it by just being in it, and King and the creators do their best to come full circle. In short, like the entire film itself, it is satisfying-enough to where one can feel as if watching it, was time well spent.
If you are going into this film expecting it to be a straight up sequel to the Kubrick film with the same horror tone, you'll be disappointed, however if you have an open mind, this movie is very well directed and acted and the story is very compelling. This is more of a fantasy thriller than a horror film and I really like that about this film. It also does quite a bit of homage to the 1980 film, but takes it into a new and interesting direction with a deep underlying theme direct from Steven King.
This is easily one of the better film adaptations of a Stephen King novel, and also one of the better films I've seen this year.
Yet again, professional film critics have proven they mostly have no idea about the cinema of the fantastic (fantasy, SF, and horror). If you're a fan of the genre, you'll love this film - ignore the critics.
...mike Flanagan GETS IT. He feels it. Few people can translate this well from an original tale within a tale within a tale. YOU certainly can't!
If your heart doesn't beat to the soundtrack, and you don't feel those happy goosebumps several times during the film, then, history is lost on you.
After seeing this movie, you may have an awakening of sorts... and see the world's periphery in a new light...with details you may not have noticed before. At least that's what I hope for every person who gets a chance to enjoy this truly unique and amazing cinematic experience!
It's probably King's fault, but the bland story never seems to find its footing while slowly building up an excuse to go visit the Overlook Hotel.Ewan Mcgregor feels oddly miscast, barely moved by anything that happens and so making us not care about anything either. While most of the cast is there just to stand and talk (there's an awkward amount of standing in this movie), the lonely highlight Rebecca Ferguson is very animated, throwing everything and the kitchen sink to elevate the dull proceedings. But she only gets so far.When the action eventually returns to the Hotel, the last act barely connects to anything that happened earlier as it apparently was only there so that they could recreate the sets and scenes from the Shining. But everything is so poorly written that the Shining throwbacks come across dumb and pointless, draining the original story rather than taking it further.
I was really wanting to like this movie, but it just wasn't there.
Especially after seeing all the high ratings, too many things throughout the movie had me scratching my head.
Definitely hard to follow a classic like The Shining, but this sequel could have been a whole. Lot better.
What a surprise... That wasn't so bad actually! Now, hear me out. When I first saw the previews for this I felt disappointed by the visual look of the film, as it was all too green-tinted and lacked the Kubrick-esque framing I want from a film like this (it being a sequel to "The Shining" after all). Remember, I care too much about the visual aesthetics of these things sometimes. Especially when it was clearly supposed to connect right to the iconic classic. The green tint stays throughout the film, much to my displeasure. Worked great in "Joker" though. But once I got what the story was and paid attention I realized I was getting invested. This is a different type of film while still remembering to pay huge amounts of respect to the legacy of the original. Once you do get to the elements that carry over from Kubrick's film it felt well earned. Interestingly enough they kind of blend well together too eventually. We delve into the supernatural aspects of what Stephen King was going after in his book, and that's completely fine. I don't mind a chilling spookie once in a while. Recently I've felt done with most of the modern day horror film tropes, so it's such a shock for me to say that I had a good time with "Doctor Sleep".The progression of where Danny Torrance's character goes to is a natural right step. They go for the 'father like son' kind of thing, and I was completely onboard with it. The ghost of Jack Nicholson's presence looms strongly over the story too, with Danny fearing not to follow his father's footsteps. The new story elements were able to grab my attention as well. Again, as soon as it clicked what type of plot/movie this was, then it worked. It's its own thing, and that's great. No "Shining" remake - except for some re-created imagery (handled with nice respect) - But most importantly: The story and characters moved forwards. Loved what they did with the character Rose the Hat. What a sinister yet oddly charming antagonist portrayed hypnotically by Rebecca Ferguson. Hope she gets the deserved credit. Ewan McGregor will always be Obi-Wan to me, but he was a fantastic choice to play Danny. He can convincingly make me believe that he's got the 'shine'. It surprises me how positive I feel about the movie! It's a neat little companion piece to the classic. Again, big props for them to go for their own thing. This is no "Force Awakens", if you know what I mean. You'll walk though memory lane here for sure. The difference is that it doesn't rely on the nostalgia to tell their story. It actually stands on its own. I'll say that if you're a big fan of the original, then it's worth taking a looksie
"Doctor Sleep" is the decades-later sequel to the horror classic, "The Shining," set primarily many years after the events at the Outlook Hotel that left young Danny Torrance scarred. Danny (Ewan McGregor) is now an alcoholic adult who battles with inner demons who manifest because of his "shine." He also faces real-world demons of sort in the form of vampire-like creatures who steal the souls of children who shine. Dan and a particularly powerful young girl cross paths and team up to battle a group of the creatures, who call themselves the True Knot.In the film's best moments, it really shines (sorry). Mike Flanagan (who has steadily been building his reputation as the most reliable working horror director) performs a challenging dance of honoring both Stanley Kubrick's film and Stephen King's novel sequel. This task becomes all the more difficult when we realize that the follow-up novel paid no mind to the changes between the first book and movie. Certain characters are in different places and key landmarks, like the hotel, faced different fates. Fortunately, Flanagan pulls it off.At times we can also sense a struggle between calling back to the original and pushing forward with a new vision. Fortunately, Flanagan pulls that off too.One scene in particular that displays Flanagan skill and vision features True Knot leader, Rose the Hat (Rebecca Ferguson), leaving her body and floating across the country in search of the powerful young girl. I would've enjoyed seeing more moments like this and fewer obvious homages to the original movie. There's plenty to this story to more than stand on its own. The film would have benefitted from further breaking away from "The Shining."Blood and violence are kept relatively tame aside from one brutally unsettling scene that gives a sense of how vicious and unfeeling the True Knot group members truly are. Ferguson owns this scene, displaying equal parts menace and alluring charisma. Her performance is the best in the film, with respect to McGregor, who does fine work as well.Ultimately, the film works well thanks to the strong performances and skill of Flanagan, remaining entertaining throughout the lengthy 152-minute runtime.
Almost four decades ago, Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining" not only terrorized audiences, but also sparked plenty of unique reflection and analysis on its remarkable use of suspense as both a cinematic device and a tool for fostering character development of its protagonist, Jack Torrance. The film's impeccable attention to detail has also ensured that it is still studied and well-respected today. As a huge fan of the Kubrick film as well as Ewan McGregor, I was really excited for "Doctor Sleep," but unfortunately, I found it to be a huge letdown.The plot of this sequel centers around an adult Danny Torrance (McGregor,) working in a clinic in New England while also trying to deal with a severe drinking problem. He must work to defeat an evil cult called the True Knot, led by "Rose the Hat," after a 12-year-old girl who also has the powers of "the shining" gets in its crosshairs. I was never expecting this film to top the genius of Kubrick, but Mike Flanagan seems like a talented director who wanted to really honor the source material, so I was hoping for it to at least try to be meaningful.The first major problem with the film is its tedium. While the pace of "The Shining" was slow, it was slow in a great way, as in "slow-burn to build up maximum suspense and dramatic tension." On the other hand, "Doctor Sleep" just feels tedious. Large stretches of the film pass by with virtually no keyp lot or character development not explored in other scenes, and the film feels repetitive and like it's going nowhere after a while until we get close to the climax. The film also lacks the genuine suspense and tension of the original, since this tediousness impedes on any sense of impending dread. I also feel that the more sprawling narrative of this story as opposed to "The Shining" may have been somewhat detrimental to its sense of tension. It also lacks the psychological fear of "The Shining." Even though the True Knot and its followers are creepy, attempts to build up a real sense of terror around them generally fall flat. Ewan McGregor tried his best, but his performance is unfortunately rather bland and very limited in range. The only real positive of the movie is that it's fun to see the Overlook Hotel again, but the climax still doesn't feel fully satisfying. Not recommended. 4/10