Thursday, November 14, 2019

Dr. Sleep (2019)

Lately Stephen King has had a resurrection (pun intended) of sorts, with movie remakes of his classic horror novels like Pet Sematary and It, but I was interested to see the sequel to The Shining, Dr. Sleep. Did I mention this sequel was released almost 20 years after the original Stanley Kubrick Shining movie? I think they wanted to take their time and get it just right, and I have to say this Shining Pinup wasn't disappointed!


Before you attack me, I did read the book Dr. Sleep before watching the movie and even if the movie didn't include everything, it did hit the mark for all the important events of the book!

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

There's really three separate stories that mesh together at the end. Here's the movie in a nutshell.

Story ONE
The movie picks up with Danny Torrance ~ the little boy from The Shining ~  and his flashbacks of seeing the ghost of the dead lady in the bathtub from the Overlook Hotel in his house and how Dick Hallorann ~ his friend from the Overlook Hotel ~ taught him to trap the ghosts in boxes he created in his mind. This is a key plot point.

The actors that play Danny, Wendy (his mom), Jack (his dad), and Halloran resemble the original actors. They aren't exact, and I know this bothers some people, but you get the jist of who they are.


You get the jist. This is from Dr. Sleep, not The Shining.

Danny as an adult is an alcoholic like his father. I like that they addressed this. In The Shining movie you are given clues that Jack was an alcoholic, but it's never specific that that's what's causing his temper. Danny drinks to stop the hallucinations, but unlike his father is really trying his best to stop. He packs up what little he has after a wild night out and heads further east to New Hampshire to start over. He befriends a man named Billy that helps him find a place to stay and is also a recovering alcoholic.

Danny gets a job as an orderly in a hospice facility. In the facility there's a cat named Azzie that can sense when a patient is going to die and Danny works with the cat to visit the dying patient and help ease them to the other side with his "shining" gift. Danny becomes known as Dr. Sleep. (I wish I could find a picture of the cat. It's white and fluffy in the movie.)

Story TWO
There's a little girl named Abra that also has the shining that lives near Danny. She's more powerful and can sense him. She communicates with him through a chalkboard on his wall for years. Neither of them meet in real life until one of the visions shows her a boy with a similar gift being kidnapped and killed by a gang that steals his "steam" or essence by brutally killing him. They "eat screams and drink pain". While Abra sees the vision, the head of the gang ~ Rose the Hat ~ sees her! Abra researches and finds out the boy is indeed missing and she has the clues to find out where he was buried. She tells Danny about it. He tells her to walk away.


Danny and his chalkboard.

Story THREE
If you haven't read the book, this part can get a little vague. There's a group of wanderers called the True Knot that also have gifts. They search out others like them to either eat their "steam" or convert them into immortal beings like they are. Rose the Hat sees Abra in her vision and wants to find her to take her steam.


Rose taking steam.

The closure for me was at the very end when Danny and Abra do fight the gang and lure Rose to the Overlook Hotel. The ghosts that haunt the Overlook ~ that Danny saw as a child ~ are similar creatures to the True Knot and feed off live people to take their essence. The hotel itself is a character in this movie and in the grand finale Danny opens the boxes in his mind and lets those ghosts kill Rose, but in the end he ends up dying too.

That being said, it doesn't end on a sad note! It's hinted that their are others out there with the shining, and now the spirit of Danny visits Abra. He becomes her Halloran. So with others out there it's hinted that there could be a sequel but I think they should just box the story up for now, like the ghosts in Danny's mind.

There are lots of nods to the original movie especially in the overhead outdoor shots, the music, and simply revisiting the Overlook. We see the door that Jack axed through, the "REDRUM" door, the ballroom and bar, the bloody elevators, the wintry hedge maze, and even inside room 237. It was satisfying to watch. I give it 4.5 doses of medicine out of 5.


The Overlook is a character all on it's own.

Here's the trailer...


p.s. My Shining photoshoot was included in the most recent issue of Rocket Magazine. The Autumn October 2019 Vol. 2! I got a two page spread!!!






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