Talking about the relevance or not of a film sequel to the great and beloved The Shining is meaningless from the moment it was Stephen King himself who in September 2013 decided to publish the continuation of his 1977 novel. Once the book was released, it is simply impossible not to think about a new movie, since The Shining is just a classic and icon in horror cinema since the moment it came out.
And it was Mike Flanagan, in his triple role as screenwriter, editor, and director, in charge of the effort and at the same time valuable transposition: the final cut of 151 minutes includes a multiplicity of times, characters, conflicts, locations and references that speak to the clear of an ambitious project, which aims to live up to its predecessor, the aura of Stanley Kubrick and the 531 pages written by King. And now we have a movie as incredible, watch it now to see it for yourself.
Doctor Sleep starts with two prologues and from the beginning, there will be stylistic tributes and several winks to the film by Kubrick, it has King's approval, so this promises much. In the first preamble (set in Florida in 1980) we see how a kind of sect of paranormal beings called True Knot and led by Rose La Chistera (Rebecca Ferguson) kidnaps a girl; we also meet little Danny Torrance (Roger Dale Floyd) dealing with his ghosts, traumas, and nightmares; in the second (which takes place in the New Jersey of 2011), Danny (Doc) appears in his adult version embodied by Ewan McGregor. Alcoholic, drug addict, affection for ephemeral relationships and violent fights in bars, the protagonist is a soul in pain.
Already today, Danny Torrance moves to the small town of Frazier, where he will try to redirect his life by abandoning addictions and with a couple of jobs as a nurse in a nursing home who suffer from terminal illnesses and as an assistant to the dear and supportive Billy Freeman (Cliff Curtis) in a playful train that is in place.
In Doctor Sueño there is also a co-star, Abra Stone (Kyleigh Curran), a 13-year-old African-American teenager with extraordinary powers that allows her to have visions, divinations, anticipations and distance communications that will make her Danny's ideal partner and rival of Rose and her clan.
What follows is an accumulation of confrontations, perversions, situations as extreme as disturbing (various abuses of children and adolescents) and constant appearances of the wise Dick Hallorann (originally interpreted by Scatman Crothers and now by Carl Lumbly) that will lead to the mythical Hotel Overlook, with its twins and the bathtub in room 237.
There is something of gloating in this dating game, of veneration to The Shining and at times the sensation is of a film too solemn, derivative and a bit heartbroken. Something like an amusement park of the fantastic and horror genre, in an accumulation similar to that of Andy Muschietti in the sequel to It.
As compensation and counterweight, Doctor Sleep delivers a handful of scenes achieved from the formal, with a good construction of tension, suspense, and irruptions of a terror that goes from the psychological to the bloody, and a remarkable work of photography and sound and visual design direction.
Without being any wonder, for its size and its impressive visual display is a film that "demands" to be seen, so go watch it now. In that sense, waiting does not seem to be a good Plan B. It's a good movie, it will surely have its fans and haters, but we can't say it's bad at all.