There are a few reasons to be excited about the upcoming movie Doctor Sleep, and Ewan McGregor is just one of them since he’s an awesome actor that puts a lot of class into just about any movie he’s ever been in. Come on, who else could have played Obi-Wan Kenobi so perfectly? Anyway, another reason why this story is so anticipated is that Stephen King’s stories have lately been coming out fast and furious and even better there have been some that have finally been given the proper treatment and full license to scare the living hell out of us. IT became a legendary film once again when the movie took over the horror genre in 2017, and since then people have been chomping at the bit to see the next movie. Doctor Sleep is a film that a lot of people would have never known about save for the fact that once fans started reading it and understood what it was all about it was bound to come out that someone would think that it should be a movie.
As a sequel to The Shining, a movie that few people would have ever thought would get a sequel, this details the life of Dan Torrance as a grown man. He’s taken on his father’s nasty habit of drinking as he’s wandered across the country, trying hard to find out just who he is and what his purpose in life should be. Once he stops drinking his psychic abilities start to come back and he takes up a job in hospice, comforting people with his ‘shine’ in the moments before they pass on. But the kicker about this story is that there’s a group called the True Knot, a band of individuals that have their own shine but feed off of the essence of others with the same ability. Throughout the length of the book Dan meets a young girl named Abra who has a shine stronger than his own and is a direct target of the True Knot, eventually forcing him to convince her parents that she’s being hunted and that the best way to keep her safe is to finally confront the group.
The book is plenty scary in true Stephen King fashion, but as Whitney Collins from Barnes & Noble indicates it’s also got a very strong sense of hope and even atonement to it as Dan seems to have to find himself all over again following the tumultuous years he’s had to endure after the events of The Shining. We can’t go on forgetting that he was put through a great deal during his time at the Overlook, and the fact that King takes the story back to the hotel grounds is even better since it’s a way to finally come full circle with the past and make peace with it.
So far the story sounds like it’s going to be more of a thriller mixed with horror elements than anything, and to be quite honest that sounds just fine since it invites a lot of thought and discussion over the next several months. So far there’s talk that it could be coming out near the end of 2019, but in some cases it sounds more likely that we’ll be waiting until 2020 for this movie to hit the theaters. When it does though it would seem that curiosity more than a need to see the movie will be pushing people into their seats since Doctor Sleep doesn’t exactly allude to The Shining if you look at it objectively. In fact it’s safe to say a lot of King fans might have believed it was just another story by the master of horror until they read the book jacket and saw that it was a continuation of a story that many of us came to love upon our first reading. At this point people might even be thinking about just how the two movies are going to connect, but that seems like a foolish question since Wendy and Danny got away while Jack was left to freeze to death and thereby become a part of the place, as he’d seemingly been all along. Doctor Sleep is in effect the aftermath of The Shining and the continued legacy of a story that has long-reaching effects and will finally be laid to rest when all is said and done.
Some Stephen King fans are likely excited about this, some might be pensive, and some might just be waiting to see which way the wind blows. Personally I like to think that any movie could be great so long as the source material is followed as much as possible and only tweaked when it needs to be. But while King’s books have been followed quite well, as with IT, and then again been dashed to the rocks and pieced together haphazardly, as with The Dark Tower, there’s always a 50/50 chance that things could turn out either way. Still, it’s going to be exciting to find out.