Stephen King is one of the most influential writers in modern literature. Despite what some may think of his writing, I really enjoy reading his work.

A bonus to those stories are the on-screen adaptations that sometimes capture King’s writing very well and at other times, don’t.

Despite not being faithful to the source material, Stanley Kubrick’s take on The Shining is still one of the most iconic movies in history.

Even if King disliked the visionary’s final product, many enjoyed the gritty 1980 psychological horror starring Jack Nicholson.

Almost 40 years later, the sequel to The Shining, Doctor Sleep, was released on Halloween.

Unfortunately, the Mike Flanagan-directed Fantasy/Thriller didn’t do so well at the box office. In its opening weekend, Doctor Sleep managed to rake in close to $6m worldwide.

Regardless of its financial success (or lack of), Doctor Sleep is a must-watch movie for those faithful to The Shining Universe.

The story follows an older Dan Torrance played by Ewan McGregor as he tries to protect a young shiner from a cult known as The True Knot.

For those who have only watch the Stanley Kubrick film, this instalment may seem a little odd. Some may go into theatre expecting the same experience from the 1980 horror classic.

Though elements of Kubrick are present throughout, Flanagan does justice to Stephen King’s written universe as this film incorporates the elements of fantasy.

Shiners are prevalent in some of King’s best novels. They are humans that possess supernatural abilities such as telekinesis (Carrie) or psychism.

The themes which are focused on in this story is the conflict of identity faced by Dan, coming to terms with one’s reality and facing your fears. McGregor’s chemistry with young Kyliegh Curran really takes the story to another level.

The highlight of the movie is the antagonist, Rose the Hat, played by Rebecca Ferguson. Leader of the True Knot, Rose the Hat eats the souls of young shiners to remain immortal.

Ferguson does a great job in playing a villain that is both soothing and terrifying at the same time.

I think everyone who will watch the movie will appreciate the climax, as it takes part in the same Overlook Hotel set of Kubrick’s Shining.

Audiences are taken on a journey back in time as famous scenes from the 1980 movie is repurposed to fit the story of Doctor Sleep.

Overall, I feel that the movie did the novel justice and is a lot more in-tune with King’s universe.

Even though it’s a slow-burn I think Doctor Sleep is worth watching.

Rating: 7/10

Photo by Jing Shi on Unsplash

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