I finally got to see “Doctor Sleep” the sort of sequel to Kubricks “THE SHINING”…
I just saw it on Streaming…. not a classic…. can’t hold a candle to Kubrick…. but …Not Bad…..
(Spoilers) Author King didn’t like Kubricks story changes… I never read the novel “Sleep” but this film sure seems to follow up on Kubricks film. (SPOILERS)
The opening is a re -use of the original footage of Danny big wheeling through the Overlook and down that orange rug and up to room 237.
Or so I thought. When Dannys big wheel stops, you can see they tricked us… thats a look-alike kid actor on the big wheel. Well played! How did they do that? Completely rebuild the 1980 set? CGI? In the recent movie “Ready Player One” they went to Kubricks Overlook… was that CGI or a practical set? DId they use the same sets in that one as in this one? I wonder if Warners brothers saved the re build the sets? Did the director of “Sleep” see “Ready Player One” and then begged them to save the sets?
This doesnt have nearly the power or intensity of a Kubrick film. It made me think of the sort of sequel to 2001, “2010”… it looked a little bit like Kubricks film, it has some Kubrick-ian editing moments…. but doesn’t have that “momentous” feel that Kubrick films had.
But then again, both “Doctor Sleep” and “2010” did something that Kubrick himself almost never did. They were fun to watch and easy to understand. Kubrick made innovative and groundbreaking “films” that will be studied as important parts of film history, but he never made a nice simple “movie” that the average viewer would enjoy. “2001” is thought provoking and can get film buffs arguing for hours about what it really meant, but the Hyams sequel was so easy to understand. It told its story quite conventionally.
According to “Doctor Sleep” there is a coven of witchey type people who “eat” the “souls” of psychic people (“The True Knot”) . Are they themselves psychic? Are THEY “Shine-ers” who have discovered the ability to long life is to suck the life force out of other psychics? Are these folks “energy vampires” like in “Life force” or maybe like how to Skeksis in “The Dark Crystal” staved off old age by draining the life essense of the Gelflings and pod people? Theoretically could Danny and his new young friend live for centuries if they sucked the life out of other psychics? It also reminded me a but of the HBO series about modern Vampires “True Blood” the vamps could live off of synthetic blood but they much preferred real human blood… and the blood of humans filled with fear somehow tasted better. But the champaign of blood to them was the blood of fairies….
When they show the Overlook Hotel , it isnt “The Stanley” from Kings TV mini series of the Shining, its most definitely the Kubrick Overlook. I just asked google about ” Making of Doctor Sleep” and I got this video, which shows that they DID rebuild the set:
When adult Danny remembers his childhood, its with a Shelly Duvall lookalike. She doesnt look exactly like Duval, she actually is better looking than Duval herself BUT she impersonates the voice exactly. So much so that Im still not sure if they didnt dub in old clips of Duvalls voice.
Carl Lumbly plays Dick Halloran. He looks just enough like Scatman Crothers and has a deep authoritative voice to make the point. I thought Scatman Crothers was a weak point in the original, in that I had seen him in too many other roles on TV to take him seriously in this role.
In the original, Halloran knows that Dannys nickname is “Doc” and in this sequel, the patients at the Convalescent Home Danny is the orderly at call him Danny. BUT, Danny tells Abra ” I used to call the Shining ‘Tony‘ “… However in the novel and the TV remake, “Tony” is actually a grown up Danny sending energy into the past.
The “Obi Wan” ( The ghostly mentor) to Danny is Dick Halloran. They trick us into thinking he is still alive. He lived at the end of the book, but was seen lying with a hatchet to his chest at the end of Kubricks film. Hmm ironic since Ewan McGregor played the Younger Obi Wan… But then we see that only Danny can see him, he is physically dead but his ghost can meet with Danny and tell him how to lock up the ghosts that invade his mind.
The film recreates numerous Kubrick shots and uses (impersonations of???) the original music.
When Danny goes into the Overlook bar, the bartender isnt Lloyd it is…. Jack Torrance. Encouraging Danny to take a drink. It isnt a CGI jack Nicholson Its just a guy who looks a little but like him. IMDB tells me its… : Henry Thomas!!! ( Elliot from ET?!?!?!?!?!?)
If Jack is the bartender…. then what was….. if Jack has ALWAYYYYS been the caretaker then…. uggh
A youtube commentator made a very interesting analysis…
He feels there are no ghosts, it was just projections from Dannys mind ( and maybe Jacks mind too?) Interesting theory that he clearly put a LOT of thought into it.
But in this film, the Overlook is alive and it is hungry to feed on folks who have the Shine.it is established early in THIS film that when eating someones “Shine” it “tastes better” if the victim is full of fear. In this movie when the villainous ” Rose the Hat” goes into the Overlook, the Overlook tries to scare her with the bloody elevator doors…. but she is simply amused. She knows that the Overlook is doing and won’t fall for it…
However, if the Overlooks ghosts are locked into boxes in Dannys mind.. why did they have to go the Overlook at all?
Annnnd how was the Overlook so well preserved? Would the weather and vandals have ruined the place? Then again, the Overlook would surely take care of any would be vandals that dared enter into it.