9/10 “The Shining” is one of those films that I saw in high school and as someone who was newer to R rated films and therefore films for adults, I had no idea what was going on and thought the film made no sense. After over a decade and several re-watches later, the film has really grown on me and I can see why it was neglected upon release but revered in the years since. “Doctor Sleep” had the monumental task of following up one of the most iconic modern horror films while also telling its own story and setting itself apart, so as not just to copy “The Shining”. Luckily for writer/director Mike Flanagan, who has become something of an auteur in the horror genre these days, he was able to take the best of Stephen King and Stanley Kubrick for a film that pays homage to “The Shining” while also being completely its own and being one of the year’s best films. I was really impressed with how well this film turned out. The performances are amazing (it is great to see Rebecca Ferguson play a villain for a change), characters are well developed and actually get character arcs that are followed through, the visuals, especially as Rose the Hat searches for Abra, are stunning, the score perfectly complements the creepy and sinister vibes, etc. This is one of the year’s strongest scores as it incorporates many disturbing sound effects and has a beating heart powering it. The film is two and a half hours but due to the engaging plot and well done pacing, you almost never feel the running time. Many horror films today go for soft PG-13 ratings to appeal to a broader audience and make more money. Wisely, this film knows that “The Shining” was a hard R rated film and in respecting that film, continues with that tradition. Nothing is softened and we actually get some imagery involving children that is more disturbing than what “The Shining” had to offer. My only complaints are minor but there are a couple. This film recreates some moments from “The Shining” and although I loved the idea behind it, the actors they used were obviously not the original actors from “The Shining” which felt distracting and I feel like visual effects could have brought back those original actors in their prime with today’s de-aging/deep fake technology. A visit paid to the Overlook Hotel has its boilers and machinery still working almost 40 years after not being used and enduring freezing cold temperatures and isolation, which was probably the most unrealistic part of the film. Finally, the only part that did feel a little slow was when Danny initially walks through the Overlook Hotel very slowly, which was more of an excuse to show off these iconic locations from “The Shining” than it was to progress things along. All that being said, a story worth telling that wasn’t rushed, noteworthy performances (the child actress, Kyliegh Curran, is fantastic as well), a terrific score, memorable visuals and true horror film making talent on display add up to one of the best films of 2019 and easily the best horror film of the year. If you enjoyed “The Shining” or just love horror films, book a trip to the Overlook Hotel and make sure your Doctor prescribes you some Sleep.
#LetsBlowOffSomeSteam / #DontOverlookThisFilm / #CoStarringJacobTrembling / #BoilerAlert / #ZenPals / #ThisHotelOffersFineShining