Mad’s review published on Letterboxd:
The Shining is a mean, mean film. Kubrick's cynicism and very unique vision of humanity (or America for that matter) is on full display in it. To give a better example, the film is very much connected to Jack Torrance in a way that reflects his own torment and evil, slowly building inside him in a place that feeds on that evil and pain. Not just his pain but also the pain he inflicts on his loved ones.
Doctor Sleep is connected to Danny. It's a reflection of the trauma that he's had to wrestle with, and at the same time the film itself is a reflection of the expectation that carries with it, being the sequel to one of the greatest milestones of pop culture. It's a surprisingly meta film all things considered, bursting with tremendous moments of empathy and care in comparison to the relentless dread of its predecessor.
Sure, it's not perfect by any means. Nor does it compare to the original in any way, but Flanagan's love for the mythology of King as well as the influence of Kubrick all works together to create a sequel that we probably didn't need, but one we sure as hell deserved.
Also, Rebecca Ferguson. So hot.