Doctor Sleep Movie Review: Won't let you sleep

Updated: 09 November, 2019 08:42 IST | Johnson Thomas | Mumbai

Doctor Sleep's narrative takes shape years later with the now-adult Dan Torrance (Ewan McGregor) meeting a young girl, Abra Stone (Kyliegh Curran) with similar powers

A still from Doctor Sleep
A still from Doctor Sleep

Doctor Sleep
Director: Mike Flanagan
A; Horror
Cast: Rebecca Ferguson, Ewan McGregor, Carel Struycken
Rating: Rating

A sequel of sorts to the much revered The Shining, this film's narrative takes shape years later with the now-adult Dan Torrance (Ewan McGregor) meeting a young girl, Abra Stone (Kyliegh Curran) with similar powers. He realises she has to be protected from similar evil forces that tried to do him harm, as heralded in Stanley Kubrick's Stephen King novel-based classic.

The prologue reveals a young Danny Torrance figuring out how to control his "shining" powers and then we are introduced to an adult Dan, an alcoholic and drug user who, following an eye-opening experience, jumps a bus to New Hampshire, joins AA, makes a friend in Billy (Cliff Curtis), and gets a job at a hospice. At the hospice, he uses his powers to help people on the edge of death, cross over. On the other side, we see Rose the Hat (Rebecca Ferguson) leading a roving group of powerful creatures who have found a way to be immortal by torturing out the shine from exceptionally talented children. Abra is their victim-waiting-to-happen.

Flanagan may not have Kubrick's talent to make this a monumental experience, but he certainly infuses enough empathetic and emotional depth to make this intriguing and haunting. Flanagan's style incorporates juicy bits of King's story, and presents them in a smartly paced evocation of a Kubrick experience.

Watch the trailer of Rebecca Ferguson, Ewan McGregor, Carel Struycken starrer Doctor Sleep here

King's original book ends with the explosion of the Overlook Hotel, but Kubrick's version of it does not. Flanagan's attempt to blend both legacies may not achieve classic status but it certainly is effective. He doesn't shy away from gruesomeness, and that is best represented by the kidnap and brutal murder of a young boy (Jacob Tremblay) by the True Knot. Rebecca Fergusson's Rose the Hat is a memorable villain — and this, in spite of a rather sketchily written role. McGregor is adequate, while Curran will certainly go a long way in Hollywood with such an assured performance as Abra. This one is worth a watch!

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First Published: 09 November, 2019 07:20 IST

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