Doctor Sleep Movie Review: Ewan McGregor's Danny maybe The Shining but Rebecca Ferguson shines the brightest

Doctor Sleep Movie Review: Mike Flanagan brings to life Stephen King's novel Doctor Sleep with the help of Ewan McGregor, Kyliegh Curran, Rebecca Ferguson, Cliff Curtis, Zahn McClarnon and Emily Alyn Lind. Does he manage to recreate the horrors of The Shining? Read our review to find out.
Doctor Sleep Movie Review: Ewan McGregor's Danny maybe The Shining but Rebecca Ferguson shines the brightestDoctor Sleep Movie Review: Ewan McGregor's Danny maybe The Shining but Rebecca Ferguson shines the brightest
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Doctor Sleep Movie Review

Doctor Sleep Review Director: Mike Flanagan

Doctor Sleep Cast: Ewan McGregor, Kyliegh Curran, Rebecca Ferguson, Cliff Curtis, Zahn McClarnon and Emily Alyn Lind.

Doctor Sleep Review Stars: 4/5

The first time I watched The Shining, I couldn't walk the hallway without double looking. Room 237 haunted me for days. So, when Mike Flanagan decided to not only revisit Danny Torrance but, also plant a few more horrific images in my head through Doctor Sleep, I was both excited and nervous. The Shining sequel is based on Stephen King's book of the same name. Did the movie manage to run shivers down my spine? Read my Doctor Sleep review to find out. Warning: SPOILERS AHEAD.

Ewan McGregor fills the shoes of Danny in Doctor Sleep. Torn apart by the events that unfolded at the Overlook Hotel back in 1980, Danny turns alcoholic to keep himself away from the nightmares and suppress his shining. However, an unfortunate turn of events forces Danny to end up in a small town and befriending Billy (Cliff Curtis). He overcomes his drinking problems and finds a job at a hospice. It is there he uses his shine to help dying patients, which grants him the title of Doctor Sleep. During his recovery, Dan makes a pen pal of sorts in the form of Abra (Kyliegh Curran) who also has supernatural abilities.

While he is tucked away from the world's madness, a group of hunters called the True Knot is out to track down people with a shine to feed on. The steam feeding group of people includes Rose the Hat (Rebecca Ferguson), Crow Daddy (Zahn McClarnon), Snakebite Andi (Emily Alyn Lind) and others. During one of their steam feasts, Abra serves as an onlooker and plays a witness to the murder. She grabs Rose's attention and becomes her next target. Abra reaches out to Dan and together, they fight Rose and other True Knot members. In the process, Danny puts the monsters of his past to rest.

Doctor Sleep hits the homerun within the first half-hour. Intertwining Stanley Kubrick's The Shining effortless from the establishing shot, Doctor Sleep provides a fresh perspective while keeping the mood of The Shining intact. Although the focus is on Abra and the True Knot, director Flanagan carefully layers Danny's struggle from the aftermath of The Shining in between Abra's journey that makes it a great sequel.

Despite the various subplots and characters introduced in Doctor Sleep, Flanagan puts the spotlight on each character and story without overdoing it. Flanagan's efforts are complemented by McGregor, Ferguson and Curran. McGregor stands out as the adult Danny, channeling the childhood horrors like his own. There are several shades, including a recreation of an important scene from The Shining, that prove he was meant to play Danny. Curran as the chirpy little girl who seeks opportunities to use her shine is fantastic. She manages to hold your attention while McGregor and Ferguson share the screen with her.

However, the star of Doctor Sleep is undoubtedly Ferguson. The diabolically seductive star who is thirsty for steam brings out the best of the movie. Be it meditating on the top of her caravan or fighting Dan in the climax, she manages to take your breath away. If all this wasn't enough, the climax set in the Overlook Hotel brings back a crucial cast member from The Shining and seals the deal. Having said this, Doctor Sleep doesn't leave you shivering the way it should. Instead, Flanagan takes a warm approach towards the chilling events and uses a lot of music to bring the movie to life. The background score could have been limited to make a lasting impact. Should you watch Doctor Sleep? Absolutely! It is refreshing, a treat for Stephen King and The Shining fans. But heads up, you might want to watch The Shining (if you haven't) to enjoy Doctor Sleep better. 

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