FILM REVIEW: Doctor Sleep
DOCTOR SLEEP (15)
SHOWCASE CINEMA DE LUX PETERBOROUGH, OUT NOW
CAST: EWAN McGREGOR, KYLIEGH CURRAN, REBECCA FERGUSON, CLIFF CURTIS, ZAHN McCLARNON, CARL LUMBLY, JACOB TREMBLAY & BRUCE GREENWOOD
RUNNING TIME: 2 HRS 31 MINS
DIRECTOR: MIKE FLANAGAN
Is the title a reflection on the running time?
Stephen King has well and truly cemented his work into pop culture history. In my opinion, The Shining is a masterpiece and one of his best. When I heard we were getting a sequel to this horror, expectations were obviously high.
As most will know, in The Shining, Danny Torrance and his mother Wendy survived the ghouls that haunted the Overlook Hotel – including Danny’s psychotic father Jack.
Doctor Sleep sees Danny (Ewan McGregor) as an adult, still possessing his ‘Shining’ abilities. Suffering alcoholism (as his father did) he attends Alcoholics Anonymous meetings while working at a hospice, where with his mind-probing skills, he helps the dying come to terms with death before they ‘kick the bucket’ – thus resulting in his nickname ‘Doctor Sleep’.
Danny also uses his abilities to telepathically talk to Abra (Kyliegh Curran) – a young girl who is struggling to come to terms with her own ‘Shining’.
Abra soon picks up on the distressed energies of children being murdered by The True Knot, a group of vampire-esque killers who feed of their victim’s fears. Therefore, Abra and Danny team up to try and put an end to them.
The cult is led by the terrifying and seductive Rose the Hat, played by M:I-Fallout’s Rebecca Ferguson, who is phenomenal in this role. It’s a shame that her followers weren’t half as menacing. McGregor and Curran also give fantastic performances throughout, however the central characters prove a little too awkward when paired together.
Making a King adaptation comes with its own pressures. Making a movie that is also a sequel to a Stanley Kubrick classic . . . well that’s a whole different ball game. Writer/Director Mike Flanagan (Oculus) is no stranger to horror and he provides us with some genuine scares and visually stunning scenes. Doctor Sleep works best when Flanagan is putting his own stamp on the movie, as opposed to the times this is trying to mimic The Shining.
The result is an uneven film where thankfully the good outweighs the bad – with enough entertainment to keep you awake even though the long run-time intermittently threatens to put you to sleep. For the most part this sequel ‘shines up’ very well. Rating: 3.5/5By Mikey Clarke