When it comes to the best horror movies of all time, Stanley Kubrick's "Shining" will bound to have a place in almost every top 10 list. And surprisingly the author Stephen King hated the adaptation as he felt Kubric took too much freedom and he felt it was too cold. So after close to 40 years, i was surprised to see King writing a sequel to his novel titled "Doctor Sleep". As Hollywood lives more than ever in sequels and reboots of classic films and franchises, it was no surprise to see whats coming on. So this time it was Director Flanagan (known for Geralds Game and The Haunting of Hill House) to bring this novel to big screen. And after reading the modified script, he got it certified by King itself "Everything that I ever disliked about the Kubrick version of The Shining is redeemed for me here".
The synopsis is simple, the adult version of alcoholic Dan who is struggling to overcome his past, meets a young gal with "the shining" powers and together they fight against a cult known as The True Knot. By and large the director delivered a professional horror. He tries his best to bridge the gap between King's original version and Kubric cinematic libertic version. Its a well balanced act. The film invest more on the character study of both the good and evil ones. The construction is slow and he takes time to establish the characters and their intentions in the first half before moving to the historic Colorado hotel for the culmination act.
Though it cannot recreate the claustrophobic tension as The Shining (the credit goes to Jack Nicholson), it does create jump scares too often (didn't like that too much) with pounding BGM. There are some unsettling scenes and fantastical elements that is exactly what the doctor ordered in the book. The mysterious opponent played by Rebecca Ferguson is just terrific. Her character was threatening and intriguing from the word go. In the end the film manages to blend the visual spectacle of Kubrick and the masterful storytelling of King into an improvised version and there lies the success of the film. Barring the pacing issues and unnecessary jump scare moments, i would say its a fine blend of courageous and refined work.
Verdict - 3.5/5(The Shine is On)