Mike Flanagan has beautifully paid homage to both Genuises while also using his own style as a catalyst to deliver the final beauty – Doctor Sleep
Doctor Sleep begins in the 1980s with a dangerous and sultry psychic Rose the Hat (Rebecca Ferguson) charming her way through the mind of a young girl. She, along with her creepy yet powerful True Knot cult, kidnaps children with magical powers or you can say ‘The Shining’ and tortures them to death as they consume their magic coming out in the form of smoke. Sounds disgusting? Thought so! But these are the things that makes the movie so much different from the other run of the mill horror films. Soon, we are introduced to two more characters; Danny Torrance (Ewan McGregor), an alcohol addict still chained by the pain of his past and Abra Stone (Kyliegh Curran), who just like Danny shines but at a much bigger and grander level. When her altruistic self finds itself on crossroads with the powerful True Knot cult, Danny must step in and face his demons the last time, quite literally.
“You can put things from the Overlook away in boxes, but not memories. They are the real ghosts. You take them with you.”
CARL LUMBLY – Dick Halloran
Though the movie seems to have been wrapped too fast during the end, the buildup to the final showdown is nothing less of an art and finally gives us a feeling of completion unlike how the prequel played with our minds with its surreal climax. If you love the kind of horror that is dark, disturbing, uses the human psyche and has in general a creepy feeling to it, the Doctor Sleep is what I would recommend.
Let’s just say; Doctor Sleep is not for everyone. If jump scares and ghosts with makeup is your thing, then Doctor Sleep will just bore you to sleep. The movie is for those who admire subtlety and can connect dots with the prequel. Amidst the ghastly and horrifying sequences, be ready to explore Flanagan’s emotional side as Danny helps the dying cross over peacefully at the hospice. There is a certain kind of solemnity you will feel while watching these scenes. Ewan McGregor as Danny shines (pun intended) and is quite convincing of an alcoholic hitting rock bottom. He brings the vulnerability of young Danny and the burden of being special in one plate, especially in the last scenes. One particular sequence shot in the famed bar at The Overlook will not just make you nostalgic but admire how Ewan has captured the soul of the original scene. Abra Stone is a force to reckon with. She is not just another kid in a haunted house running away from the ghosts. She is formidable, special and wields a great amount of supernatural power; a lot more than what our protagonist Danny Torrance is capable of. Her scenes with Rose the Hat will make you crawl your way into bed. Rebecca Ferguson as the terrifying psychic has a captivating screen presence that makes the mystery around her more intoxicating.
Catch the movie on Netflix today!