Doctor Sleep 4K/Blu Ray Review (Warner Bros)
In 1980 after their traumatic experiences in the haunted Overlook Hotel, Danny Torrance (played by: Roger Dale Floyd from The Walking Dead: World Beyond & Stargirl) & his mother Wendy (played by: Alex Essoe from The Drone, Starry Eyes, Tales of Halloween, & Midnighters) live in Florida. Danny sees one of the Overlook’s ghosts, the rotting woman from Room 237 in his bathroom. Dick Halloran (played by: Carl Lumbly from Supergirl, Justice League: Gods and Monsters, Justice League: Doom, & M.A.N.T.I.S.) explains that the ghosts feed on Danny’s psychic ability & his “shining”. Now that the hotel has been abandoned, the starving ghosts are pursuing Danny. Hallorann teaches him to lock them in imaginary “boxes” in his mind. The True Knot which is a cult of psychic vampires led by Rose the Hat (played by: Rebecca Ferguson from Mission: Impossible franchise, Men in Black: International, Life, & The Snowman) which includes Crow Daddy (played by: Zahn McClarnon from Fargo, Westworld, Bone Tomahawk, & The Son), Barry the Chunk (played by: Robert Longstreet from The Haunting of Hill House), Grampa Flick (played by: Carel Struycken from The Addams Family franchise, Twin Peaks, Oblivion 1/2, & Men in Black), Silent Sarey (played by: Catherine Parker from The Family), Diesel Doug (played by: James Flanagan from Paperless Pulp), Apron Annie (played by: Selena Anduze from Swamp Thing), & Short Eddie (played by: Met Clark from Venom)extend their lifespans by consuming “steam”, a psychic essence released as they torture plus kill those who have the shining. In 2011, Danny (played by: Ewan McGregor from the Star Wars franchise, Birds of Prey, Fargo, & Shallow Grave) is now known as “Dan”. He has a serious drinking problem which tries to suppress his shining but his alcoholic ways keeps getting him into bad situations.
Doctor Sleep was a huge surprise to me, I didn’t expect to like it this much. It’s definitely made my top 10 for 2019, the director’s cut is even better than the already impressive theatrical cut. It took a long time for Stephen King to write this follow up to his classic The Shining & it wasn’t rushed into production until recent King remakes like IT & Pet Sematary became very popular with the mainstream audience. Mike Flanagan is an upcoming filmmaker to look out for, he has been on a roll lately. He also convinced author & producer Stephen King who has never been shy about talking about his disappointment with the original Kubrick film to let him do a direct sequel to it rather than going with the other TV version that was closer to the novel. Yes, the director’s cut is 3 hours long but there’s never a dull moment here so it doesn’t feel like it. It expands the story & characters by so much compared to the theatrical. It’s rare these days that a director actually gets to do & release his preferred version right away like this. Don’t get me wrong, the theater cut is fine & I loved it when I seen it on it’s opening week but this new version opens up so much more. This is one of the best recent Stephen King adaptations & the script will make all the die hard fans very happy. Ewan McGregor has been on fire lately, he did this back to back with Birds of Prey. Both performances were top notch, I actually think he has got better over the years. I recommend checking out his dual performances from Fargo a few years ago also. Cliff Curtis is always solid, I’ve never seen a bad role from him so far & I’ve seen most of his work. Newcomer Kyliegh Curran holds her own against her talented cast. It’s one of the better child performances that I’ve seen in a long time. Rebecca Ferguson steals the show as the charismatic villain Rose the Hat, she made the role better than what it could be. I can’t see anyone else playing that character, it’s one of those times where it’s improved over the source material. The supporting cast was very solid which includes Zahn McClarnon, Carel Struycken, Alex Essoe, Carl Lumbly, Bruce Greenwood, Emily Alyn Lind, Jacob Tremblay, Henry Thomas, Zackary Momoh (Harriet), & Jocelin Donahue (The House of the Devil). I loved how some of the smaller roles were from actresses that played the final girl in some amazing independent horror features. It also had cameos from original Danny Torrance, Danny Lloyd (The Shining). The music was top notch & it almost like it’s own character in this. 1980’s The Shining is a hard act to follow but Doctor Sleep has no problem continuing that great story, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Warner Bros! This 2160p (1.85:1) transfer with Dolby Vision & HDR10 looks amazing in 4K! Just a heads up, the director’s cut is only available on blu ray so the theatrical cut is only 4K version on this UHD. It was a treat to go back to Overlook after all these years. They captured the original look & production design here. It has a variety of audio options that includes English: Dolby Atmos, English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1, English: Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1, French (Canada): Dolby Digital 5.1, Italian: Dolby Digital 5.1, & Russian: Dolby Digital 5.1 on this UHD disc. It sounds fantastic & the haunting score really sets the tone for everything. The dialogue is crystal clear & all the chaos is elevated here. It also loaded with various subtitles that includes English SDH, French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Arabic, Danish, Finnish, Greek, Korean, Mandarin (Simplified), Norwegian, Russian, & Swedish. This is one of the best Technical releases that I’ve reviewed from Warner Bros so far, VERY impressed!!!!