Movie Review of Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep, written by Horror Author, A.R. Braun.
This is my new favorite movie, based on the Stephen King novel. Now that you know I’m biased, I’ll explain why this film is so great: It’s a Kubrick sequel. It could’ve been called The Shining 2.
How can it be Kubrick when the man is dead?
It’s directed similar to how the master did it, a brilliant job by Mike Flanagan. No croquet mallets, no hedge animals—though I love the hedge animals—and the Overlook hasn’t burned down. I’m saying it’s not true to the book. But when you’re Kubrick, or Kubrick-like, your genius can get away with anything.
Oh yeah, the plot. In 1980, little Danny Torrance (Roger Dale Floyd) lives with his mother—You remember Wendy, played by the actress who portrayed Olive Oil, now played by Alex Eddie—and after the trauma and utter devastation they suffered at the Overlook Hotel—you know, that nasty bit of business of Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) trying to ax his family to death—Danny, shining like the sun, finds comfort in the ghost of Dick Hallorann (Carl Lumbly). The ghosts from the Overlook still haunt Danny, but Dick teaches him how to bind the hungry spirits from the hotel by locking them in imaginary boxes.
Review by Horror Writer, A.R. Braun. Check out his Dark Fiction masterpiece, “Grimoire,” here.
Enter 2011. Danny now goes by Dan, and is an alcoholic, just like his father. Following a pathetic display of desperation with his one-night stand and her baby—his rock bottom—Dan decides to, on a whim, take a bus to a small New Hampshire town, where he meets the man that’ll change his life: Billy Freeman (Cliff Curtis), a dry alcie who sees a lot of himself in Dan and gives him a job running a kiddie train, plus taking him to AA meetings and setting him up with an apartment. Dr. John (Bruce Greenwood), who runs the AA meetings, gets Dan a job as an orderly in a nursing home, and Dan follows the white cat who instinctually goes to the room of whoever’s going to die, every time. Then Dan calms those afraid of death so they can let go, a.k.a. “Dr. Sleep.”
But a group, unbeknownst to Dan, is murdering children.
We meet Abra, (Kyliegh Curran)—she’s magic, like cadabra—a schoolgirl whose Shining is off the charts. She telepathically contacts Dan for help, knowing a group of adults has killed a little boy, then shows up in his town, where Dan refuses to help because of her age.
Enter the ultimate villain, Rose the Hat (Rebecca Ferguson). She leads her merry band of psychic vampires, who live like gypsies and kill kids, then eat their Shining so they can live way longer than most people, if you want to call them people. “Eat well, live long,” says Rose. They aren’t immortal, however.
And now Rose has picked up on Abra with her psychic antenna—the strongest Shiner ever—and the group goes after her.
But wait, there’s more!
Dan brings Billy on a road trip and finds the little boys’ corpse, which confirms that Abra was right. Dan changes his mind about helping her when he finds that the vamps want her, and agrees to help Abra. He picks her up after he and Billy kill all of the group but Rose. Yet Rose drank all the remaining stored Shining’s, and is so powerful, that, to have a chance, Dan has to take Abra to the Overlook Hotel—now closed down after that mess with Jack—and wake it up so he can unlock the boxes he’s storing the ghosts in so they’ll come after Rose and devour her, for they’re starving for Shining.
Will Rose defeat Dan and eat Abra alive? Or will she kill both of them? Will she add Abra to her next group? Or will Dan and Abra defeat her?
It’s important to note that, now that Stephenie Meyer has ruined Vampires with the Twlight saga, Stephen King (and his son, Joe Hill), are writing about psychic vampires. Brilliant!
Don’t miss this one!