Doctor Sleep (2019) is a sequel to the 1980 movie The Shinning. The movie follows a grown up Danny Torrance still traumatized by what happened to him at the Overlook Hotel. The Shinning famously has a lot of unanswered questions in it that have spawned almost too many fan theories. Doctor Sleep makes zero effort to answer any of those questions, and I think that’s amazing.
First of all, if they did answer any of those questions, you’d automatically anger part of the fan base. Some fans could end up getting angry if their specific fan theory isn’t confirmed. Film nerds tend to take that pretty personally, just look at Star Wars. Second of all, is there really an answer that would have been more satisfying then the fun that comes from the mystery of the original? Keeping the mystery of the first movie alive keeps the fun of it alive as well. Part of the fun of the original is not understanding what is going on and then having discussions and theorizing with other fans about what they think was going on. This movie manages to continue on from what was built by the first movie without ruining any of it. Third of all, it is just such a power move that I can’t help but respect. I’m sure a lot of people went into the movie expecting to be given an explanation for a lot of things from the original, but nope. And I just love that so much. By deciding not to answer a lot of the questions, this movie is able to become its own thing, able to be it’s own story with its own mysteries.
Doctor Sleep is a good movie in its own right. I’m sure if you’ve never seen The Shinning you’d mostly be able to follow along. But as a sequel it is phenomenal. If you are a fan of the original, I highly recommend checking this one out.