Doctor Sleep, an adaptation that could’ve gone so wrong – while surprisingly a good cinematic experience, it still could’ve done more right.
It’s hard not to admire what director Mike Flanagan has done with this adaptation – paying both hommage to Kubrick’s masterpiece (a film Stephen King has openly hated for deviating itself from his own version); yet still stays truthful to King’s novel. This was a success all on it’s own and have nothing but praise in that regard.
However, this is where it also fumbles from it’s own success – relying too much as a hybrid of both novel and hommage to create it’s own impactful identity. It’s not to say that it isn’t without it’s own powerful elements. The casting is superb (to the point the scenes in the 1980’s are almost uncanny at times). Scenes that are meant to disturb, will figuratively and (as one scene in particular has proven) literally cut it’s own mark into the moviegoer’s viewing experience.
Best advice for someone going into the film, don’t ‘overlook’ too much into it – Doctor Sleep is a guarantee Top 10 in many Stephen King film lists. It’s just his novels never translated best to the big screen in most of it’s cases.
Bottom Line: Doctor Sleep has very big shoes to fill – not only from it’s source material, Kubrick’s version and as a sequel to one of horror’s most iconic tales – it still manages to stand on it’s own two feet as a worthy successor (as long as you don’t expect any of those to help fill it).
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