Doctor Sleep is the fantasy horror film co-written and directed by Mike Flanagan. The film is based on the 2013 novel of the same name by Stephen King, which is a sequel to his 1977 novel The Shining.
This film sets several decades after the events of the 1980 film adaptation of The Shining, which was directed by Stanley Kubrick. The film follows now-adult Danny Torrance (Ewan McGregor), a man with psychic abilities (he calls it The Shining), who is struggling with his traumatic childhood memories in the Overlook Hotel. Danny has become an alcoholic to suppress his shining capabilities. But, when he realizes that he has lost everything, he moves to the new town to do the fresh start. In this town, Danny begins receiving telepathic communications from Abra Stone (Kyliegh Curran), a young girl whose shining is even more powerful than his. Meanwhile, a psychic vampire cult known as the True Knot, led by Rose the Hat (Rebecca Ferguson), who extend their lives by feeding on people with the shining, tries to get and kill Abra as their next target. Now, Danny must step in and protect Abra from True Knot, the same way someone helped him in his past.
Even though Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining (1980) is considered as a masterpiece of modern horror, Stephen King had criticized it due to its deviations from the novel. So, this film not only tries to remain true to the novel (Doctor Sleep) but also brings the Kubrick’s The Shining feeling to it. And, that’s the part where I loved it the most. Mike Flanagan as a director and co-writer, has done a really great job. Doctor Sleep, on its own, is the neatly woven horror film that also has nostalgic The Shining flavor to it.
The performance by Ewan McGregor is excellent, he is completely believable as the broken and alcoholic character with the dark past. Rebecca Ferguson as the evil villainous character is outstanding, it has been long that I’ve seen the strong negative character like her. The motivations for their evil acts are very well explored. It is not an average horror film where every now and then the jump scares are added with bombarding background score. But it does have some really creepy and unsettling moments which may make you feel uncomfortable. The supernatural and horror elements in the film also work well.
Verdict : Doctor Sleep doesn’t surpass its prequel, but clearly justifies being the great sequel. A must watch for horror film fans.
Rating : 3.8/5
Check the trailer here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOzFZxB-8cw