Danny Torrence is all grown up, but the horrors from the Overlook Hotel still haunt him. Unfortunately, the world is a “hungry place” and he can’t run from his past for too long.
Doctor Sleep is an incredible blend of Stephen King’s best horror films including The Shining and Children of the Corn. It’s suspenseful, cerebral, and answers many questions left from the original 1980 horror.
The film follows Danny Torrence in the aftermath of the Overlook hotel. He grows up struggling with addiction, alcoholism, and depression. After a particularly rough night, he arrives in a small town where he gets a fresh start and sobers up. His life is quiet and normal, but when a message appears written on his wall, he befriends a young girl named Abra (Kyliegh Curran) who also has Shining abilities. The two of them embark on a dangerous journey as a cult, who feed on fear and pain, hunts them down.
The leader, Rosie the Hat (Rebecca Ferguson), tracks down children with Shining abilities and then tortures and kills them to steal their “steam.” Danny must now come face to face with his worst fears in order to stop this cult from killing Abra and himself.
Doctor Sleep has several twists and turns throughout and the suspense in some of the scenes kept me enthralled. However, the pacing was a bit slow at times and there were certain scenes that probably could have been trimmed down or cut to par down the bloated run time. However, there were many scenes that built up the tension perfectly and I didn’t mind the wait.
Ewan McGregor played Danny well, as a broken man running from his past and eventually having to confront it. There is a brilliant scene where he comes face to face with dear old dad and their conversation gave me chills. The real standout performance, however, was Kyliegh Curran as Abra Stone, a girl who is in tune with her powers and is not afraid to flex them when needed. Rebecca Ferguson, who played the sweet but sinister villain, did well in her role, however, her American accent noticeably wandered into Irish on a few occasions.
The star of the film is the set design. The film recreates the iconic Overlook Hotel to every last detail, it was simply stunning. Other King films such as It and Children of the Corn were eluded to as well, with locations and Easter eggs that would delight horror fans.
If you, like me, have seen The Shining dozens of times and are familiar with King’s filmography, then Doctor Sleep will satisfy your horror hunger. And for the rest of you, it will still keep you up at night.
About Doctor Sleep
Synopsis: Danny Torrence is all grown up and meets a young girl with similar “Shining” powers and must protect her from a roving cult who prey on children with powers to stay young forever.
Director: Mike Flannigan
Writers: Stephen King, Mike Flannigan
Stars: Ewan McGregor, Rebecca Ferguson, Kyliegh Curran, Cliff Curtis
Runtime: 2 Hours, 31 Minutes