Hidden Gem: Doctor Sleep (2019)

Tessa Geary, Astrology Expert

Doctor Sleep, the sequel to the iconic “The Shining”, was a fantastic, underrated film; Personally, there is little-to-no criticism of it. Released on Nov. 8, 2019 (nearly 40 years after the horror classic), the film stars Ewan McGregor, Rebecca Ferguson, and Kyliegh Curran.

The casting was done as well as possible, considering the re-portrayals of iconic characters, such as Wendy Torrance (Shelly Duvall to Alex Essoe) and Dick Hallorann (Scatman Crothers to Carl Lumbly). The most prominent is McGregor as the older Danny Torrance, previously portrayed by Danny Lloyd.

The blend between the Doctor Sleep novel by Stephen King and Kubrick’s adaptation of The Shining was as effortless as it was satisfying. Despite the long runtime, the story was captivating and familiar, retaining its eerie atmosphere. Although, the film does focus more on the supernatural aspect, trading in thriller mystery for a focused conflict between good and evil.

When compared to the book, the antagonists fall a bit short. However, this is probably due to the connections to Kubrick’s film, which was known to deviate from the original Shining novel. Even then, The Shining brought an unforgettable sense of desolation and unsettling music.

Horror director Mike Flanagan managed to bring a new classic to the big screen; Paired with The Shining’s nostalgia, terrific acting, and the accurate portrayal of themes such as childhood trauma and alcoholism, Doctor Sleep is a worthy sequel to a story that made even Stephen King satisfied. Overall, the film is definitely worth watching.

Doctor Sleep is available to watch on HBO Max.

(Credit: The Mary Sue)