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Mike Flanagan
Ewan McGregor, Rebecca Ferguson, Kyliegh Curran
Writing Credits:
Mike Flanagan

Years following the events of The Shining, a now-adult Dan Torrance must protect a young girl with similar powers from a cult known as The True Knot.

Box Office:
$45 million.
Opening Weekend
$14,114,124 on 3855 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English Dolby Atmos
English Descriptive Audio
Portuguese Dolby 5.1
Latin Spanish
Supplements Subtitles:
Latin Spanish

Runtime: 152 min. (Theatrical)
180 min. (Director’s Cut)
Price: $35.99
Release Date: 2/4/2020

• Both Theatrical and Director’s Cuts
• “From Shining to Sleep” Featurette
• “A New Vision” Featurette
• “Return to the Overlook” Featurette


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Doctor Sleep [Blu-Ray] (2019)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (January 29, 2020)

When The Shining debuted in June 1980, I was 13 years old and had just finished seventh grade. When its sequel Doctor Sleep made it to theaters in November 2019, I was 52 and five years from eligibility to retire with full benefits.

How time flies!

Whereas most delayed sequels – like 2017’s Blade Runner 2049 - exist as purely cinematic entities, Sleep comes based on a novel. Author Stephen King wrote Shining back in 1977, and he didn’t get around to a second chapter of that saga until 2013, so I suspect this acts as at least part of the reason audiences waited so long for the cinematic sequel.

After the horrific events that bedeviled five-year-old Danny Torrance (Roger Dale Floyd) and his mom Wendy (Alex Essoe) in 1980, adult Dan (Ewan McGregor) remains haunted. He hits the bottle hard, and after he falls to rock bottom in 2011, he finds a new life in small town New Hampshire.

Eight years later, Dan remains sober, and he uses the telepathic powers he displayed as a child to help comfort the dying patients at a local hospice. This ability to ease pain earns him the title “Doctor Sleep”.

Dan becomes aware of Abra Stone (Kyliegh Curran), a young girl with similar mental abilities. The pair engage in long-distance communication via their skills.

In the meantime, a cult called “True Knot” also learns of Abra. Led by Rosie the Hat (Rebecca Ferguson), they live greatly extended lives due to their ability to feed off the spirits of those with abilities ala Dan and Abra.

When Rosie locates Abra, she sets out to get to the girl and soak up her powers. Dan bands with Abra to stop them.

I don’t know if Warner Bros. pursued a cinematic sequel prior to 2013 to Shining but King stopped them. I believe he didn’t much care for Stanley Kubrick’s version of the story, a disdain that eventually led to a 1997 TV mini-series take on the tale.

Given that the Kubrick Shining enjoys status as a classic and hardly anyone remembers the 1997 TV adaptation, Sleep clearly takes its cues from the 1980 film. References and links to the Kubrick flick abound here.

Don’t think that means writer/director Mike Flanagan offers a slavish imitation of Kubrick, though. Fresh off the well-regarded mini-series The Haunting of Hill House, Flanagan reflects Kubrick but still gives Sleep its own flavor.

Though it echoes aspects of Shining, Sleep avoids the usual sequel trap and never feels like a glorified remake of its predecessor. While the film links to the prior flick enough to exist as a true sequel, it forms its own identity, and that makes it much more interesting than a predictable semi-remake would’ve been.

Not that I can claim Sleep comes with the world’s most original story. After all, the members of the True Knot are really just vampires with a twist, so despite window-dressing, a lot of the narrative can feel predictable.

Nonetheless, Flanagan explores the characters and scenarios in a manner that brings real life to them. At two and a half hours, I feared Sleep would live up to its title and become a snooze-fest, especially because it offers more of a character-based piece than a slam-bang horror experience.

Happily, Flanagan paces matters well and ensures that we stay invested in the tale from start to finish. He allows matters to evolve naturally and gradually, and to his credit, he avoids the jump scares that plague the genre.

Sleep definitely differs from most of its modern horror peers in the way it pursues its goals. It seems more concerned with a feel of dark dread than actual fright, and that gives it greater impact.

The actors do well in their parts. Even saddled with a not-very-convincing American accent, McGregor gives Dan a haunted, wary sensibility, and Ferguson brings both charisma and menace to the lead villain.

My only real complaint here relates to audio design, as both score and soundtrack work too hard to give the viewer the heebie-jeebies. A little of that goes a long way, but Sleep comes with so much overly aggressive auditory material that it becomes a true distraction at times.

Otherwise, Doctor Sleep delivers a strong horror tale. More narrative and character based than most, it connects.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B+/ Bonus C+

Doctor Sleep appears in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. As expected, the movie presented strong visuals.

Across the board, definition seemed good. Even with a mix of low-light sequences, the film appeared accurate and concise, as only a smidgen of slightly soft shots emerged.

Jagged edges and moiré effects didn’t mar the presentation, and I saw no edge haloes. Print flaws also failed to appear.

In terms of palette, Sleep went with a heavy teal orientation, though it tossed in more than a little orange/amber as well. Within stylistic choices, the hues seemed well-depicted.

Blacks were dark and dense, and shadows gave us good clarity. I felt pleased with this transfer.

As for the Dolby Atmos audio, it offered a mostly typical horror movie soundscape. Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, this meant a fair amount of creepy atmosphere and occasional “jolt moments”.

Along with good stereo music, the soundfield was able to open things up in a satisfying manner that embellished the story. We got a nice sense of various elements along with a useful sense of the spooky bits, some of which worked really well.

Audio quality was always good. Music appeared full and rich, while effects demonstrated nice clarity and accuracy. Low-end appeared deep and rich.

Speech was natural and distinctive throughout the film. The mix used the speakers well and created a fine sense of the material.

The disc includes both the film’s theatrical edition (2:32:01) and a Director’s Cut(3:00:14). What do we find in that extra 28 minutes?

Don’t expect anything genuinely new, as the DC doesn’t provide material that falls into the “wholly excised” category. Instead, we find many expansions off existing scenes.

That may make the additions sound superficial, but they add nuance to the tale. Some make subtextual details more obvious, while others pad out notions and situations.

Can I claim any of these make the DC strongly different than the theatrical version. No – even with the not-insubstantial amount of added footage, the new material doesn’t create major shifts.

However, the DC allows the story a bit more breathing room. Yeah, the theatrical already ran pretty long, but given that the novel filled more than 500 pages, extra information seems like a good thing.

Ultimately, I can’t claim the DC offers substantial improvements over the theatrical version. Nonetheless, it feels a bit smoother and better fleshed-out, so it’s my preferred edition, if only by a hair.

Three featurettes appear, and From Shining to Sleep runs four minutes, 56 seconds. It brings comments from writer/director Mike Flanagan and author Stephen King.

In this reel, we get some basics about the source novels for both films and their adaptations, with an emphasis on Flanagan’s attempts to wed the various elements. The program seems too short to become wholly satisfying, but it adds some useful material.

A New Vision fills 13 minutes, 57 seconds with notes from Flanagan, King, producer Trevor Macy, costume designer Terry Anderson, makeup FX department head Robert Kurtzman, makeup FX department coordinator Marcia King-Kurtzman, stunt coordinator Chuck Borden, and actors Ewan McGregor, Kyliegh Curran, Rebecca Ferguson, Robert Longstreet, Carel Struycken, Zahn McClahrnon, Selena Anduze, Catherine Parker, Emily Alyn Lind, James Flanagan, and Met Clark.

“Vision” looks at Flanagan’s interest in the property as well as his screenplay/adaptation, cast, characters and performances, costumes, stunts and various effects.

We get a fairly general program here, but it still includes good information. Like the prior piece, this one doesn’t dazzle, but it merits a look.

Finally, Return to the Overlook goes for 14 minutes, 59 seconds and involves Flanagan, Macy, McGregor, Anderson, Kurtzman, King-Kurtzman, unit production manager Scott Lumpkin, production supervisor Alex Capaldi, property master Scott Nifong, producer Jon Berg, and actors Carl Lumbly, Henry Thomas, Sadie Heim, KK Heim, Sallye Hooks and Alex Essor.

As implied by the title, “Return” examines the recreation of the original film’s iconic sets and other elements related to the echoes of the 1980 movie. This turns into a fun exploration of these components.

Nearly 40 years after The Shining, we find a worthy sequel via Doctor Sleep. Vivid and compelling, the film continues the story in a satisfying manner. The Blu-ray offers very good picture and audio along with a few bonus materials. Arguably superior to the first film, Sleep gives us a strong effort.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.8 Stars Number of Votes: 5
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