Monday, November 11, 2019

Doctor Sleep - Movie Review

The Movie: Doctor Sleep

The Director: Mike Flanagan

The Cast: Ewan McGregor, Rebecca Ferguson, Kyliegh Curran,

The Story: Years following the events of "The Shining," a now-adult Dan Torrance meets a young girl with similar powers as he tries to protect her from a cult known as The True Knot who prey on children with powers to remain immortal.

The Review:
Full disclosure: If I have watched The Shining from beginning to end, I do not remember it so bear with me if I'm not fully versed on the history and detail of either the 1980 movie or the Stephen King book that it is based on. That being said, I didn't have any trouble following along with the story which takes place decades later and follows the adult and very troubled life of Danny Torrence, played by Ewan McGregor, who was a little boy in the first movie. McGregor is such a good actor and I am always so happy to see him in anything he does and he does not disappoint.

Along for the ride are Kyliegh Curran who plays Abra, a teenager who seems to have sometmes magical and sometimes troubling abilities just like Torrence as well as Cliff Curtis, a welcome addition to any cast, as Danny's friend Billy. Of course, this movie wouldn't be complete without a villainous presence and we get a whole group of them being led by Rebecca Ferguson Rose The Hat (the name will make sense when you watch the movie) in a role that sees her as one of the more deliciously evil creatures we have seen in a movie for some time. She absolutely crushes every moment of screen time she gets as she plays Rose with such a wonderful energy and a dark side that is always waiting to burst out onto the screen at any moment.

Most of the real scares in this movie come from the second act where Rose and her gang of steam junkies (this will also make sense when you watch the movie) are hunting down victims to replenish their stores. There are several decent jump scares during the film as well as one particular scene that is quite disturbing and will have you rooting for the bad guys to betaken down in a not so friendly manner. As the story progresses, we see it branch off in a couple different directions as Danny begins to come to terms with a past that isn't letting him live his best life by any means and then there's Abra who can see what Rose and her steampunk posse have been up to and wants to shut them down.

Mild spoilers here although I feel like everyone is aware of the inevitable return to the infamous Overlook Hotel and all of the evil things that were running rampant in The Shining. The film makers do an absolutely brilliant job of recreating the pace, the moments, and the things we see as they reappear or come back to life in appropriately creepy and scary ways. I did feel that the story lagged a bit during the finale although everything was brought full circle in a way that was satisfying enough. Again, not having seen the original, or at least not remembering it fully, didn't take anything away from the ending and I could tell where the big callbacks and references were happening so it was all good.

The Verdict:
Doctor Sleep is quite simply one of the best horror movies of the year and Rebecca Ferguson has created one of the best horror movie villains I have seen in quite some time. You could even look at this movie as a super hero story in the same vein as Unbreakable or even along the lines of the X-Men. Now there's a conversation starter. I my have to put some more thought into this.

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