The second act of The Shinning made it to the cinemas over the Weekend and the film manages to impress in parts. One must ask a question here that was it necessary to make a sequel of such an iconic film? The Shinning, released way back in 1980, goes down as the biggest cultural hit for horror genre and is still loved by all. Everything attached to The Shinning still gives us chills, be it the old lady in the shower of Room 237, the Diane Arbus twins who want to play or the corridors and the walls of Hotel Overlook.
Whenever a sequel is made of a classics, the output is usually not upto the mark due to massive expectations attached. Stephen King had written the sequel to 1977’s book “The Shinning” six years back and the book became instant bestseller. King’s book atlast got the film this weekend and with the name of The Shinning attached to it, we were expecting something very big and larger than life. We were anticipating every character to be as deep and horrifying as in the 1980’s The Shinning. We expected the background score to give us chills down our bones. We expected the dialogues to be crisp and steady with the right amount of thrill making us jump out of our seats with the nail biting suspense like its predecessor.
Did Doctor Sleep live upto the expectation or not here is what we think!
Doctor Sleep tries to fill into the shoes of ‘The Shinning’ and manages to impress in parts. The film takes off from The Shinning’s little kid Danny Torrance who is now a grownup and played by Ewan McGregor. Danny,now an alcoholic, is struggling through his life and is still horrified. We see Rebecca Ferguson playing “Rose The Hat” who is searching for kids and people who are special hence she could steal their shine. As the list of missing children grow bigger we see the little girl Abra Stone played by Kyliegh Curran, the special kid with the power of shine, who sees Rose murdering children. She along with the help of Danny goes out to hunt Rose and her crew.
The film’s screenplay is pretty much interesting but it gets dragged at many points. For example, the whole support group and alcoholic part of Danny could easily have been cut short. When you are coming out with a sequel of The Shinning then you are expected to deliver everything with perfection but director Mike Flangan hasn’t been able to give us a perfect product. The first half gets dragged and there was no substantial dialogue throughout the first half that could stay with us. But the film gets back on track in the second half.
Climax of the film takes you back to memories of The Shinning and director has pulled off the climax pretty well bringing back the nostalgic feel. The dialogues and the music also gets better by the time we reach climax. It looks like that the first half was a huge let down but the second half is quite well crafted. Bringing back the characters of The Shinning was a very tough thing to pull off on the silver screen and Mike Fangan has done an excellent job there.
Ewan McGregor as Danny does well with his performance as both alcoholic who is struggling with his life to a man putting himself together and fighting his fears. Rebecca Ferguson playing as Rose steals the show. There is no question in the acting skills of Rebecca and here she has given a smooth performance and has donned her character brilliantly. The little girl Kyliegh Curran did well as Abra, she stayed composed throughout. Even though the lead cast did well in the acting department, the supporting cast was a huge let down. Not even a single member from the crew of Rose manages to impress. The girl Emily Alyn Lind playing “Snakebite” was given good amount of screen space but she couldn’t impress us much with her character or performance. Some character development could have made the supporting roles more impactful. All the sequences with Rose’s crew were either a drag or pulled off in a very mediocre manner.
Mike Flangan tried to rely a lot on the visuals and bloodshed in the first half which is one of the things one wouldn’t expect from the sequel of The Shinning. The film has it moments and audiences will have to sit through the first half with a lot of patience to actually enjoy the well executed and engrossing climax. Whether the audiences will give the film a chance is something to ponder upon!