I guess The Shining isn't as popular as people think. Sure, it's a well made movie and considered by a vocal minority to be a classic horror flick, but its sequel, Doctor Sleep, had one helluva a case of box office narcolepsy.
Is it really that big a fucking surprise, though? How many people under 40 even get the "Here's Johnny!" reference in The Shining? How many people over 40 could be pulled away from shitty jobs, screaming kids, aching backs, midlife crises, and the like long enough to sit through a two-and-a-half-hour sequel nobody asked for that waltzed into theaters nearly four decades after the original?
Maybe it's the Curse of Ewan McGregor? Ewan's a solid actor who's done some big dick work in Trainspotting, Big Fish, and the Fargo TV show. His track record lately? Much more micropenis. Ewan's been the kiss of death to big screen dreams his last few times out. T2, the sequel to Trainspotting, was spottier than a teenage junkie. His villain helped clip the wings of the Harley Quinn misfire, Birds of Prey. And playing the all-grown-up "redrum" kid, he doesn't do much to keep audiences awake through Doctor Sleep.
It could also be that Doctor Sleep suffers from Die Hard 5-itis. Despite its title and its Bruce Willis, A Good Day to Die Hard wasn't actually a Die Hard movie. It was a generic action dud that Hollywood dropped John McClane into to cash in on nostalgia. Doctor Sleep has the same ailment. It's a generic horror dud that Hollywood grafted The Shining mythos onto to cash in on even more fermented nostalgia. Don't believe me? Watch the piece of shit and then try to claim with a straight face that it would be any different if it didn't reference The Shining at all.
The spoof The Simpsons did back in 1994, the one where they called out that Bart has "the shinning" instead of "the shining" so they wouldn't get sued, was scarier, funnier, and 26 or so years' more timely than the asleep at the wheel Doctor Sleep.
At least no one said, "Shine on, you crazy diamond." Although, that would've been the highlight of this snooze fest.
February 28, 2020