Movie Review: Doctor Sleep, available today on Blu-ray, DVD, 4K and Digital


I love the film The Shinning. It’s one of my all time favorite horror films. It’s a favorite of mine because the film didn’t have to resort to frat-boy humor, sex scenes, and enormous amounts of gore in order to be scary. Instead, the film used suspense to keep you on the edge of your seats. That is why the film is such a classic.

A few months ago I learned that there was going to be a sequel to the film coming to theaters.

A sequel?!?!?! How in the world could there be a sequel to such an iconic film?

The sequel is called Doctor Sleep. It’s available today on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K (it was already available on digital).

Doctor Sleep stars Ewan McGregor as the grown up version of Danny “Dan” Torrance.

If you remember from the film, The Shining, young Danny Torrance had a “gift” referred to as “shinning” by the late Scatman Crother’s character, Dick Hallorann. Although it wasn’t really a gift, per say. If you were you ask Danny, he would have told you that he DIDN’T want the ability to “shine.”

Fast forward to Danny as an adult. He goes by the name Dan. He’s also an alcoholic and pretty much hits rock bottom.

We next see Danny a few years later. He has got his life together, moved to a new state and works as in a hospice, where he is known as “Doctor Sleep” (his gift has something to do with that).

Dan is not the only person who has the ability to shine. There have been others, but their lives were taken from them by a group of cult of psychic vampires that are able to stay alive by absorbing the “steam” that comes off people with the shinning ability. They only way to get that “steam” is to kill the person who can shine.

A young girl by the name of Abra has the shinning, and she’s been targeted by the cult, known as the True Knot, and she needs Dan’s help. Dan would rather forget about his abilities, but soon finds that he’s sucked up into protecting Abra from True Knot, especially their leader, Rose of the Hat.

Will Dan be able to accept his “gift” after all these years? Will he be able to protect Abra, and himself, from the cult? To find out you need to pic up a copy of the film. Look for it where ever movies are sold or rented.

I received a free screener copy of the film to review. The copy I received has both the theatrical version of the film, and the extended director’s cut. I downloaded the film (digital). I meant to watch the director’s cut, but mistakenly turned on the theatrical version. I cannot tell you what the difference is, but the director’s cut is about thirty minutes longer.

Bonus material includes;

  • From Shining to Sleep
  • The making of Doctor Sleep: A New Vision
  • Return to the Overlook

Normally I watch the bonus features. I didn’t get a chance to (yet), but I am planning on it because I am interested in seeing the feature Return to the Overlook.

I will admit that the beginning of the film confused me (and my husband) a bit. It really wasn’t until Dan was working at the hospice that things started to make more sense to us. Take for example the psychic vampires. In the beginning we didn’t really know who they were and what they wanted. They were just a bunch of crazy looking murderers.

About a quarter of the way into the film we were hooked – as in edge of your seat hooked.

I didn’t think they could create a good enough sequel to such an incredible film as The Shining, but they did. It’s not exactly at the same level as The Shining, but it’s definitely a great squeal. In a world where squeal are not always needed (and often bomb), Doctor Sleep has earned my respect.

The cast of characters really add to this film. They did have to use different actors to play the original characters (Danny, Dick). The real Danny Torrance (played by Danny Lloyd) is an adult now, and Scatman passed away back in 1986. I do think that the film makers did a well enough job finding suitable substitutes that looked a lot like the original characters/actors.

Rebecca Furguson, who plays Rose the Hat, certainly has the creepiness factor down good. Even if she wasn’t a “psychic vampire,” I’d still avoid getting on her bad side. Ha Ha.

I like that the film incorporated a lot of the things that made the first film so great, from the ghost in room 237, to the Overlook Hotel, and the ever-so-scary maze.

Overall I really enjoyed the film. It’s the kind of film that you watch over and over again. I’m already planning on watching it again this coming Saturday, to see if I missed anything.

I didn’t see an official website for the film, but I did find the film on Facebook and Twitter, in case you were interested in learning more about it. The official hashtag is #DoctorSleepMovie.

Did you see Doctor Sleep? If so, what did you think about it? Feel free to comment and share your thoughts.

Below is the theatrical trailer for your enjoyment.



*I received a free screener copy to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

About Kimberly

Kimberly Vetrano resides in the suburbs of New York City with her family and "mini zoo" consisting of five cats, a dog and a Goldfish. Kimberly is a teacher's assistant for a Kindergarten class. When she is not working or blogging, Kimberly enjoys taking photos of nature and hanging out with family and friends.