Who knew that Danny, the little kid from The Shining had some sort of super power?
I certainly didn’t and I’ve seen The Shining multiple times. So fast-forward a good 20 odd years and our boy Danny has grown into a maladjusted human being who only likes two things in life; alcohol and running from his “demons” who just happen to be real. No, really and it’s not just Danny who sees them which I’ll get to in a bit.
You might be thinking, what could possibly be connecting this film to The Shining other than Danny? And that’s a fair question. Well, without spoiling it, there are more distinct tie-ins further on in the film to The Shining which I’m sure some fans will enjoy. I wasn’t very moved myself. Kubrick’s The Shining was a lot more psychologically scary, disorientating and a little disturbing which is why I enjoyed it. While Mike Flanagan did an alright job of integrating some of the “what the hell just happened” mood into Doctor Sleep, it really didn’t grip me half as much as similar scenes in The Shining did.
The fantastical aspect of the film is very much fantastical with lovely shots of the night sky, floating people and birds-eye views of the pretty city lights. But there was something that didn’t fit with the villains of this little story. Rebecca Ferguson as the villain Rose, The Hat, was cool and ethereal-like – I definitely see the likeness to Stevie Nicks in her character. She was everything you’d expect a generally good villain to be; a little creepy, a little aggressive all the while hiding a very dangerous secret under her cool but very big hat. The link between our hipster looking villain and her gang and Danny is explained which is essentially why this film is a sequel to The Shining, but it certainly doesn’t feel like it is.
Danny accidentally stumbles upon this very special friend named Abra who is linked to him through The Shining (the super hero power mentioned earlier). That is what Danny calls it so we’ll call it that too. The Shining then becomes this “thing” but I think I liked it more when it was obscure and unexplained.
To classify this film as a “horror” is a pretty big stretch, even with the nasty bad guys who reminded me more of the vampire family in Twilight. And you can take that any way you like.