Doctor Sleep is a Dream Not a Nightmare

The Stream: Not scary at all and far too long

The Big Screen: Visually there are some very cool tricks and a nice stroll down memory Shining road.

The Final Bill: If you’re looking to be scared, this isn’t the movie for you; but, if you want to be entertained and stuck in the movie magic (for 2 hours), try your luck.

– S2S

Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Horror
Rating: R (Surprised by this rating. A little cursing and a some gore more like a PG-13)
Runtime: 2 hours 27 minutes
Director: Mike Flanagan
Writers: Stephen King (based on the novel by), Mike Flanagan (screenplay)
Stars: Ewan McGregor (Danny),  Rebecca Ferguson (Rose The Hat), Kyliegh Curran (Abra Stone) 

Welcome back to Stream to Big Screen. This week we are glad to have before you a movie adaptation of Stephen King’s thriller, Doctor Sleep. The book, Doctor Sleep, was published in 2013 and filmmakers moved quickly to give the masses the sequel to The Shining they’ve been waiting for. So let’s dive deep into this thriller.

First, the movie is beautiful visually. I did have some qualms with the younger versions of characters used, but that’s not important. Nevertheless, there are some really cool flying/floating/Dr. Strange-like sequences in the movie. The movie has some good CGI technology, but there could have been even more. The storyline is cool even though I got annoyed with the interchangeable nature of their use of the word shining and steam. PICK ONE ALREADY! Sorry for that outburst.

Next, I would’ve appreciated more depth into the explanation of shining, steam, and the individual new characters. This explanation is something that I’m sure, in the novel, Stephen King got into thoroughly. Even without the full look into each character, individually all of the actors did a solid job. Rebecca Ferguson, as Rose The Hat, is simply enchanting. I really enjoyed her performance of the character. Ewan as Danny… not so much. I can’t tell if he did a bad job or the writing and directing was that poor. Either way Ewan needed a do over.

Unfortunately, Doctor Sleep was more of a walk down memory lane than a hotly anticipated horror classic sequel. Nothing is truly creepy about this movie, compared to The Shining, but the viewer does get 2 or 3 eerie or tough moments to view. Mainly, we got some of the classic movie scenes from The Shining, with further detail bringing us to the present, mixed with a completely different storyline. The director relied too much upon the strength of The Shining rather than fully embracing what is cool and creepy about the Doctor Sleep book. In reality, the Doctor Sleep storyline could be way more creepy and enthralling than was displayed. The movie does an okay job giving us to the idea but is far too shallow. The viewer needs more depth and I’m sure the book fans would agree. Flanagan failed to make us dive deep into the movie/pages of the book. What the viewer got was a slightly creepier version of Darkest Minds, Twilight and Hocus Pocus. On top of that, the horror fans would be left wanting by the end of the movie.

S2S Rating Scale

Long story short, Doctor Sleep failed in the ways of a horror movie but succeeded in the ways of a teen coming of age superhero origin story. If you’re looking to be scared like The Shining, you will be disappointed but if you come to be entertained and held in suspense, this may be a the movie for you. Horror/Shining fans, I would recommend just catching this on netflix but everyone else I’d recommend a matinee showing, if you have a free 2 hours and 20 minutes on this chilly Veteran’s Day weekend.