Struggling with alcoholism, Dan Torrance remains traumatized by the sinister events that occurred at the Overlook Hotel when he was a child. His hope for a peaceful existence soon becomes shattered when he meets Abra, a teen who shares his extrasensory gift of the “shine.” Together, they form an unlikely alliance to battle the True Knot, a cult whose members try to feed off the shine of innocents to become immortal.
Plot: 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, who prey on children with powers to remain immortal.
Director: Mike Flanagan
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Runtime: 152 min (180 Directors Cut)
Rotten Tomatoes Consensus: Doctor Sleep forsakes the elemental terror of its predecessor for a more contemplative sequel that balances poignant themes against spine-tingling chills.
“The mesmerizing conclusion we’ve been waiting for.”
This movie was shot with ARRIRAW cameras at 6.5k and finished at a 4k digital intermediate, that means you’ll get a native 4k presentation on this disc. On top of that, as per the norm with UHD releases, it was also given a HDR color grade for your viewing pleasure in both Dolby Vision & HDR10+. The news everyone loved to hear from the press release is that the Director’s Cut is included, but know before you buy a copy that it’s only available via the Blu-ray disc.
Not only was this one of the best films that come out last year, Doctor Sleep is a reference quality UHD disc — you’ll notice this right away with the initial scene. Everything looks crisp and razor sharp with no appearance of grain. I love me some full aspect ratio native 4K discs. Mmmm hmm.
The way this film was shot and edited, there won’t be too much POP! when it comes to bright and flashy colors — the movie has a natural color palette which will appear warmer during the day and cooler at night. (The biggest bursts of color are in the flashback scenes where Danny is riding his big-wheel through the Overlook Hotel.) Where the HDR really shines is not only keeping the natural tone in-tact, but heightening the black levels, which look amazing. There is shadow, depth and dimension in every low lit atmosphere, every scene at night and in every corner of a dark room. This will catch your eye throughout the movie, but I think it was most noticeable near the end of the film as we revisit the Overlook hotel — Rose the Hat walking through the maze, Danny in boiler room, Abra walking roaming the hallways, etc.
Beyond that, this sharp UHD brings out all the facial details galore in the many close-ups. All the small and fine details are more apparent; freckles, beard stubble, blemishes, pores, sweat, cuts, blood — the works. Something small like the look of being tired (heavy on the eyes) on Ewan McGregor before he’s sober vs. after is very noticeable.
A good example of everything this disc brings together is during the bar scene in Chapter 15. You get the bright squint-worthy highlights from the lighting to the shadows casted off the characters faces and wardrobes demonstrating depth and dimension. To top it all of the detail looks amazing too, especially the close-up’s showcasing razor-sharp fine details across the board.
I can’t sing praises enough — it’s a great disc through and through — every scene looks great in UHD.
In conclusion —
I hold The Shining as one of the best horror films ever made. There is just something about it I can’t explain — it’s a masterpiece that has stood the test of time and will continue to do so in the future. When I first heard that a sequel was coming I was worried, but only for a second — as soon as I saw the director that was attached I knew we were in for a ride. Coming off the success of The Haunting of Hill House I knew Mike Flanagan would do it justice.
I’m not here to state that this movie is equal or better than The Shining, I’d call it a complimentary piece, something that does the original justice, something that brings the world and the storyline to a close. Every year I make it point to watch The Shining in October — this year Doctor Sleep will fall in nicely as a double feature. Pointing back to the director, Mike Flanagan has been on roll the past few years and I really hope it continues. What he has coming up next is a seven-episode series on Netflix entitled Midnight Mass which follows an isolated island community that experiences miraculous events — and frightening omens — after the arrival of a charismatic, mysterious young priest. He has my attention, so whatever he makes next, I will watch.
Regardless of what you may decide, this is a reference UHD disc, so make sure you grab a copy at your local retailer when it releases on 4K & Blu-ray Tuesday, February 4th. Not only do you get the ‘Directors Cut’ on the Blu-ray, you also get three featurettes; “Return to the Overlook,” “The Making of Doctor Sleep: A New Vision,” and “From Shining to Sleep.” A lot of good stuff to fill your mind and satisfy your special feature needs. Don’t sleep on this movie.
Did you catch Doctor Sleep in theater? Were you a fan of this movie? Will you be picking it up to own? Let me know what you think in the comments below.
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