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Review Doctor Sleep (2019): Entertaining sequel but different than I expected!

genre: drama, fantasy, horror, adaptation






Doctor Sleep is the adaptation of the sequel to The Shining, both the book and film. Now Stephen King wasn't really happy with Kubrick's take on his book. But apparently Stephen King has given his blessing to this adaptation since according to him it redeems Kubrick's version.

Now I do understand what Stephen King's beef was with Kubrick. A big element of the story was alcoholism. It was essentially the most terrifying for Wendy and Danny Torrance. In Kubrick's version Jack does only seem to drink as a symptom of his possession. Although it could also be interpreted that his possession was only something that happened in his own mind (due to alcoholism or descend into madness). Still that doesn't explain the ending.  Whatever it is according to Stephen King the supernatural elements were more profound and real. The same is the case in Doctor Sleep. Actually it's a bit too much if you ask me. But it was something I got used to. Although I was disappointed with the fact that Doctor Sleep isn't really a horror. It's a more a fantasy based super hero film. There are one or two creepy moments (mainly at the beginning) that showed real promise of what is to come. Only the direction it goes into from that moment on was just not that thrilling or scary. Don't get me wrong. It's entertaining but I hoped for so much more. And it simply didn't deliver that. 

I liked how the original was implemented and referenced in this sequel. Writer / Director Mike Flanagan did a good job of blending and respecting Kubrick's version. I also was pleased to see more of The Shine and it's many manifestations. But in essence that is all there is. Rebecca Ferguson as Rose The Hat was a boring villain. She was hamming it up. Not once was she menacing or terrifying. Zahn McClarnon as Crow Daddy is a much better foe as he mostly is calm and composed. It's a shame he had to play her goon and it wasn't the other way around. Plus Zahn is a much better actor than Ferguson. Ewan McGregor amd Cliff Curtis also make Doctor Sleep more compelling. As they add a much needed human component to all the madness.The story itself though is a simple tale about good versus evil and that is it.

Entertaining but different from what I expected. 


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