Doctor Sleep Movie Review: Critics Praise the Film for Being Loyal to Both Stephen King's Book and Stanley Kubrick's The Shining
Doctor Sleep (Photo Credits: YouTube/Warner Bros Pictures)

The upcoming horror film Doctor Sleep is based on Stephen King's novel by the same name which was a sequel to his superhit book, The Shining. The first book has already been adapted into a movie in 1980 by Stanley Kubrick, which went on to gain a solid cult-following. Now, the new movie, Doctor Sleep, not only has the task to live up to the book but also to the classic film. The review embargo on the movie has been lifted one week before its release. Critics have given their verdict. Many of them feel the movie by director Mike Flanagan is worth your time. A few don't. Doctor Sleep: Watch These Movie Adaptations Of Stephen King Novels Before This Psychological Horror Film!

Doctor Sleep has drawn some sharp criticism for its tonally different climax. But it has also gained immense praise for striking the right balance between being loyal to King and Kubrick. We wonder what King would feel about this one as he has vocally disliked the previous film. Below are the excerpts from the top reviews of the film. Doctor Sleep Final Trailer: Danny Returns to the Overlook Hotel in This Terrifying New Footage (Watch).

BBC called Doctor Sleep a horror-tinged superhero movie and it is different from The Shining in every way but is not a betrayal of the Kubrick's film. "Partly that’s because it is so full of references to its illustrious predecessor, from the hexagonal-patterned carpet to the fact that one character’s house number happens to be 1980. (Alas, a digitally de-aged Jack Nicholson doesn’t turn up.) But mainly it’s because the plot which blossoms in Doctor Sleep grows from the seeds planted four decades ago," they wrote.

CNET also noted that Doctor Sleep manages to be different from the movie, The Shining, and yet adds elements that will remind you of it. "If this doesn't sound much like The Shining, it's because Doctor Sleep is a very different cinematic experience. Flanagan sticks closely to King's sequel novel, but smoothly bookends his movie with lovingly re-created elements from Kubrick's movie," they wrote, adding that the movie has trippy, visually arresting sequences.

What Culture wrote, "It's easy to imagine the popcorn-munching crowd complaining that the film is too slow and restrained, but if you're craving a thoughtful post-script to The Shining, this delivers the eerie, achingly humanistic goods more often than not."

Los Angeles Times wrote, "Beneath the movie’s slick surfaces there is also an insistent, pulsing humanity, an understanding of the deep emotional underpinnings of King’s fiction. “Doctor Sleep” may cut a wider narrative swath than “The Shining,” but it returns to many of the same themes: the innocence and mischief of children, the protective and predatory capacities of adults, the vulnerability of the family unit."

Indie Wire did not like the movie much. They wrote, "Flanagan excels at ambitious montages and misdirection, mustering one beguiling dream sequence in which Rose and Abra face off in a nighttime suburbia," adding, "But once the movie circles back to The Overlook Hotel for a prolonged half-hour climax, the whole endeavour collapses into cliché."

Variety also noted the same thing about the climax and wrote, "Doctor Sleep” is a prosaic movie, but one that earns its shock waves of emotion. It isn’t until the final third that the story settles back into the Overlook Hotel (though there’s a quickie sort of prologue set there), and by the time we get to the fabled lodge, perched in the snowy Colorado Rockies, it’s more than a stunt; we feel as if the story has earned the right to go back."

The Guardian wrote, "Eventually, after a long, long series of pointless narrative detours, we find ourselves back in the ruined Overlook hotel, and there’s a frisson there, undoubtedly – especially when we see the hole in the wall made by Torrance’s axe as he shouted “Heeeeere’s Johnny!” But it is almost cancelled out by the realisation that everything before it has been a bit redundant. Despite some big moments, this seems cumbersome and unnecessary: a dimming of the original."

So, those were the words penned by the top critics in the industry for Doctor Sleep. The movie has received a mixed-response from them leaving the decision solely up to the audience. The movie opens in theatres on November 8.