Doctor Sleep Review: Does it Live Up to The Shining?


Justin Peters, Arts and Entertainment Editor

In 1980, Stephen King and Stanley Kubrick introduced the world to The Shining, a film that would haunt the world for years. To this day — nearly 40 years after it ̓s release — fans are still speculating the film’s true nature, even warranting a full-length feature about all these insane theories. 39 years later, it’s sequel film, Doctor Sleep, released to terrify a new generation. Did it succeed?

Doctor Sleep follows the now-adult Danny Torrance (Ewan McGregor) as he moves to a New Hampshire town, down on his luck and struggling with alcoholism. He lands a new job at a nursing home, where he aids dying elderly patients. Meanwhile, a tribe of quasi-immortals called “The True Knot” feed of the “shinings” of small children, and a teenager named Abra (Kyliegh Curran) senses her impending danger. She teams up with Danny to stop the tribe and the optimistically insane Rose the Hat (Rebecca Ferguson).

Unfortunately, Doctor Sleep fails to live up to its predecessor. While it features stellar performances from everyone in the cast, it’s unable to emulate the eeriness of the first movie. It mostly relies on callbacks and references as well, with appearances from Jack Torrance and the Grady twins. However, it leaves a great portion of the Shining universe a mystery without over-explaining itself. You’ll get a pretty enjoyable horror movie, but a mediocre Shining sequel.