Let’s Get Reel: Doctor Sleep

Lisa Clair ‘21, Life & Style Editor

As a sequel to the famed horror movie The Shining, Doctor Sleep is set in the same universe as The Shining, except Danny is now all grown up and is referred to as Dan. Working towards recovery from alcoholism through multiple AA meetings, Dan is working to erase as forget all his traumatizing childhood memories of staying at the infamous Stanley Hotel. Meanwhile, there is something evil lurking in the corners, looking for people with the shining to consume… 

One thing that I really liked about Doctor Sleep is how it, though being a sequel, had a very different and individual plot of its own. Although the main focus was the “shining” power itself (something I found very interesting, as the original The Shining did not explain that aspect of the plot very well), the plot stands on its own. The Stanley Hotel and scenes from The Shining are referenced, but not to a point where the movie is overly sentimental or hokey. 

Although the movie stands very strong as a sequel, however, I do not believe that the movie is able to stand alone as a separate plot. Though original with some fantastic plot twists, Doctor Sleep still is a sequel through and through. Though obvious that the plot is not a continuation of The Shining, Doctor Sleep consists of just enough flashbacks, backstories and sentimental surprises that it is unable to stand alone. A viewer would be enticed and entertained if they saw the movie without the precursor, but I do not think they would be able to fully understand and enjoy the entire experience. 

As for the horror aspect, I think that Doctor Sleep does an extremely good job at blending the right amount of horror with an intriguing plot that will hold an audience transfixed. Often, I find myself really disappointed with horror movies because all the focus is on trying to frighten the audience without actually taking the time to create a sufficient plot. Usually I am satisfied with Stephen King movies, as he does a good job at creating intricate plots that will hold my interest, and considering that King did have a say in what does or does not happen in Doctor Sleep, I do not find myself surprised. 

Overall, I highly recommend this movie to anyone looking for a horrifying thriller— but also highly suggest watching The Shining first!