Now Streaming: ‘Doctor Sleep’

Jacob Kinsella, IV Leader Columnist

Starting my viewing of this film, I did not think that “The Shining” needed a sequel. While it is not the perfect horror film, and is absolutely hated by Stephen King who wrote the novel it was based on, the film has excellent horror elements to it and good story telling. I thought it was best left alone.

I was wrong. “Doctor Sleep” is the best sequel that I have ever seen. It expands the universe in such a way that it is plausible, while doing none of the usual retconning of materials that other sequels have tendency to do. This film is truly excellent with a great mix of horror, thriller, and even some fantasy elements mixed in. This film received extremely high praise from Stephen King who said that it may have redeemed the first film in his eyes.

The film opens on Danny Torrance, the little boy from “The Shining,” who is still dealing with the emotional and psychological issues brought on from his stay at the Overlook Hotel. He uses drugs and alcohol to mask this pain and his special ability which he has come to know as “shining.” The ability to “shine” was introduced and loosely defined in the first film. It is elaborated on in “Doctor Sleep,” but still ill-defined. “Shining” is something that certain people have which allows them to do extraordinary things, like speak and move thing telekinetically.

There are some who hunt those with these special gifts and feed on their essence in order to prolong their own life. When some of these people come across a little girl with abilities beyond what they believe possible, it is up to Danny, still haunted by his own past, to try and save her from a fate worse than death.

This film was directed by Mike Flanagan and stars Ewan McGregor, Rebecca Ferguson, and Kyleigh Curran.