Doctor Sleep is the sequel we didn’t know we needed but now that we see the trailer we definitely WANT it. The Shining was, honestly, not the favorite movie of its author, Stephen King, but so far it sounds like King is praising the way Doctor Sleep has been handled since it’s a return to one of the most epic horror films ever made. One of the best parts about it is that you get to see Danny returning to the Overlook, where the real horror began. What we learn however is that the horror didn’t end when he and his mother escaped his murderous father, as not only did Jack’s spirit remain with the hotel, which is in an idea bound up in theories that have never been fully agreed upon, but apparently the evil that’s tracking him in this movie was connected to the Overlook when he and his family were there.
Of course in the book the Overlook is little more than a ruin, so it seems fair to say that the images of Danny moving through the hotel might be dream images or something similar if they’re going to hold to the story. The best part though is that throughout the years King’s stories have been mishandled so badly that trying to watch some of them has been downright difficult, such as The Tommyknockers, Dreamcatcher, and a few others that were abused beyond all measure. But lately in recent years things have been turning around and King’s stories have been given the kind of treatment they really need and deserve. It: Chapter One is a great example, though The Dark Tower was perhaps one of the worst. That being said though Doctor Sleep seems as though it will be something that defies our expectations and becomes yet another classic that will continue to restore the faith of the fans and keep them thinking that the stories to come, hopefully King’s works will continue to be shown on the screen, will be equally great.
Casting Ewan McGregor is even better since he’s become such a well-renowned and highly-skilled actor throughout the years that trying to fit anyone else into this spot seems as though it might have been a serious mistake. Aja Romano of Vox might agree that as Danny Torrance his character was in need of someone that could play a calm but tortured individual that has seen things in his past that he doesn’t want to remember but can’t seem to forget. Ewan has portrayed tortured characters in the past and he’s done outstanding so it’s fair to say that he’ll do just as well here since there’s so much to work with in terms of the story. Anyone that has read Doctor Sleep, which I highly recommend, would know that Danny Torrance isn’t a big or imposing person, but he’s not small and weak either. He’s also something of a troubled man that escaped a past that might have killed him had he continued on the way he was, as he inherited his father’s desire to drink and was slipping way out of control. This is a part that Ewan can play since he’s done it in the past and has nailed it with other movies.
The True Knot might be seen as rather cartoonish villains if not for their connection to the story. King fashioned their existence to depend solely upon their ability and driving need to feed off of individuals that possess the same power that Danny possesses, the Shining in other words. While the True Knot would appear to be immortal they’re only semi-immortal since they can die and can do so far easier than humans to be honest. It’s curious that King wrote in a group of villains that could be harmed in such an obvious way as contracting a simple disease that humanity sees as troublesome but not fatal, but it makes a certain type of sense as well. When you think about it the True Knot are among the most desperate of antagonists and therefore some of the most vicious by necessity since they absolutely HAVE to feed on the essence of other psychics to survive. And if they pick one that’s infected with a disease that can spread to the rest of them it becomes a death sentence since none of them are immune to any of the regular diseases that humans can carry.
That tidbit alone is great enough to think that King had to think long and hard about the identity of the True Knot and what would set them apart from other villains he’s created. They’re fragile as all hell, but they’re also meaner than many others and have no compunctions about who they kill, even if their victims are children. This movie is going to be off the hook, especially if you’ve read the book ahead of time.