I am notorious for falling asleep during movies. If you don’t believe me, you can ask anyone who has ever lived, toured or been friends with me. I once fell asleep during a showing of Psycho at Nashville‘s premier independent theater, The Belcourt. After the movie was over I was staggering through the lobby half-awake when I saw a group of my friends who started laughing at me because they knew that it was my snoring that was creating a not-so-subtle soundtrack for the rest of the moviegoers. I was a bit horrified that I would fall asleep when my wife and I decided to go see Doctor Sleep after a long day of pinball, pizza, and beer. This was not the case.
I’ve accepted the fact that when I watch a movie that’s based on a Stephen King novel, the best I can hope for is that the film does a good job of telling the story the modern master of horror books has crafted. That being said, I could spend a lot of time critiquing elements of the film harshly. I’m not here to do that today as this film is an excellent portrayal of the follow-up to The Shining. Doctor Sleep‘s cast includes Ewan McGregor, who played a haunted adult version of Danny Torrance. McGregor did a great job with this role, and other standout performances included Cliff Curtis’ role, Carl Lumbly as the ghost of Dick Hallorann, Zackary Momoh (one of the most impressive castings I can’t wait to see more of), and Rebecca Ferguson as our supervillain, Rose.
The film did a great job of using elements from Stanley Kubrick’s version of The Shinning without compromising the fact that Doctor Sleep is its own story. Stephen King is doing something new here as he settles a few scores with this chapter. It was nice hearing The Shining‘s soundtrack over a very similar opening credits scene and in the same spirit, the hotel carpet was a nice touch. It certainly cannot be denied that Kubrick made a great film that will forever be part of the canon despite how the author feels. Unfortunately, the scene with Jack Torrance fell totally flat for me because I wanted Jack Nicholson so bad. It seemed they tried to make the actor look like Nicholson but it was just enough to bother me profusely.
Doctor Sleep is an amazing story and an alright film. It is certainly unrivaled by recent big-budget adaptations like “It’ and Pet Sematary, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as some of the straight to stream stories like Mr. Mercedes or 11-22-63. I think King’s tales fit the serial format better as they have more room to breathe. Hopefully, we will continue to see these kinds of films progress prolifically as I don’t think we have seen the last of The Shining story yet.
About Nathan Conrad:
He’s best known as the Nashville based Hip Hop/Indie Pop emcee Spoken Nerd, but this isn’t your typical rap project. He rhymes playfully at times, while sometimes playfully singing and/or rapping, he juxtaposes his style with real-life situations and subject matter. With six full-length albums into his career, the rapper has built a healthy catalog of music, which doesn’t include the number of EPs and singles released. Facebook | Twitter | Instagram