Musings in the Dark: Doctor Sleep

11/26/2019

Doctor Sleep

So I finally got to check out Doctor Sleep, which came out a few weeks ago.  I've already spoken of my love for the novel.  I didn't have high expectations, so I was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed it.  The movie makes it a point to mesh the events of Kubrick's film with King's story.  It begins with a flashback in order to set up the situation grown up Danny--now called Dan--finds himself in.  

Mild Spoilers.



Dan has become an alcoholic in order to reduce his shining ability, hits the epitome of rock bottom and travels to New Hampshire to get his life back on track.  He finds a friend, Billy, gets into AA, and gets a job as an orderly at a hospice.  Dan uses his shine to comfort the individuals who are about to transition, and that is how he gets the name Doctor Sleep.  Abra Stone is a young girl with an exceptional psychic ability; far more powerful than Dan's.  She reaches out to him using the gift and they communicate that way.

The True Knot, a coven of quasi-immortals who travel the country via RVs, are on the lookout for children who shine.  They violently murder these children and feed off their life force, calling it "steam."  They have been doing this for decades, and some of them for centuries. The Knot are led by Rose the Hat.  Rose recognizes that the Knot are in danger due to the scarcity of steam and is on the lookout for her next victim, which happens to be Abra.  Dan and Abra join forces to stop Rose and the True Knot.

I appreciated the effort put forth to merge the movie and the book.  There's a scene near the end when Dan is back at the Overlook Hotel and he's having a conversation with "Lloyd" the bartender.  But I would like to point out that most of the scenes at the end that take place in the Overlook are nothing more than fan service.  Dan walks through the hotel and we are treated to familiar places and recollection of certain events.  At the end of the novel The Shining, the Overlook burns to the ground (which did not happen in Kubrick's film).  In the book Doctor Sleep, Dan and Abra lead Rose there with the intent to use the inherent evil of the hotel grounds to defeat her.  But in the movie, the hotel is still standing when Dan and Abra arrive.  There's no reason for it to be (other than fan service), so it's used as a plot device.  I will say that I appreciate how it was used.

Anyway, the movie wraps up the story in a plausible way.  I enjoyed it.  Grade: B.

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