Movie Review: ‘Doctor Sleep’ takes viewers beyond ‘The Shining’

by Tharin White

“Doctor Sleep” isn’t just a sequel, it’s a deeper explanation of “The Shining”. It brings new life to the horror with more gruesome consequences. “Doctor Sleep” ends a story that already ended, but with a now-complete cycle of death, fear and life after our own. 

This spoiler free review will talk about the overall feeling of the film without going into details. First things first, yes it’s scary. “Doctor Sleep” uses long stares and horrific imagery to create scares instead of constant jump scares (but there are plenty of jump scares as well).

I can happily say “Doctor Sleep” doesn’t just pay homage to “The Shining”, but actively uses the original storyline to propel its own. Past nightmares live on and new fears are formed. “Doctor Sleep” has an exceptional level of detail for recreating scenes, sets, and even actors from the 1980 film.

But, while the story does heavily involve events of the past, it also adds greatly with its own characters and storyline. Abra Stone, portrayed by Kyliegh Curran, pictured above, was an excellent young actress. Her character helps guide viewers through the complex world of magic and the afterlife. In fact, all of the child actors nailed their characters with full expression and mannerisms.

Jacob Tremblay portrays Bradley Trevor and, no spoilers, he sucks you into the film during his main scene. I normally don’t prefer much younger actors, but these kids held their own.

Then we focus on Rose the Hat, portrayed by Rebecca Ferguson, who makes the make-believe come alive. Her emotions, especially anger, are so powerful and aggressive that it strikes fear into the audience. She commands every scene she is in.

Much like in “The Shining”, the buildings themselves are such a large part of the story. Walls, doors and even the floor are in on the act. Slow zooms on a door handle create surreal psychological scares and they keep coming and coming.

“Doctor Sleep” is a two hour and 31 minute film and is rated R for disturbing and violent content, some bloody images, language, nudity, and drug use. There are no end credit scenes.

In The Parks
While Doctor Sleep has not been featured in the parks, “The Shining” was featured a few years ago at Halloween Horror Nights.

The Shining highlights from Halloween Horror Nights Orlando 2017
The Shining maze highlights at Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood 2017

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