Don't sleep on "Doctor Sleep"
“Doctor Sleep,” based on the bestselling novel by Stephen King, re-enters us into the universe of the widely celebrated horror, “The Shining.”
Taking place years after the events of its predecessor, “Doctor Sleep” follows Danny Torrance (Ewan McGregor) after he meets a young girl who has similar abilities to his. He now must protect her from a cult called The True Knot, who look to prey on children who shine as they search for immortality.
Ewan McGregor as adult Danny Torrance had a great performance, as he really did a fantastic job of showing how someone with a traumatic childhood experience would carry that into his adult life. He was reserved at times and also heavily emotional at others. Rebecca Ferguson as Rose, the leader of The True Knot, was really creepy and terrifying, completely different from her work in the Mission Impossible franchise. It was nice to see her branch out and try something different, and she pulled it off.
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Where “Doctor Sleep” stumbles is in its runtime. It's two and a half hours long, and the first hour or so was a little repetitive and started to drag. Something eerie would happen to Danny, and then there would be 10 or 15 minutes of nothing, and that persisted throughout the first act. This movie could benefit from being probably 20-30 minutes shorter, but I've never read the book, so maybe the length is necessary.
Even though it was a little long, it was still very entertaining, and disturbing at times, with The True Knot killing children so they can take their shine from them. Certain scenes were very disturbing and hard to watch at times.
This movie could’ve just relied on using the nostalgia factor from the first film, but they did a good job of not relying on it and used flashbacks to bring “The Shining” back to life. Hearing that haunting theme from "The Shining" as we see the Overlook Hotel for the first time brought me goosebumps.
"Doctor Sleep" was driven by really good performances from McGregor and Ferguson and a really dark, disturbing premise to deliver a really good and entertaining sequel to a horror classic. If you’re of fan of" The Shining," this will not disappoint.
"Doctor Sleep" gets a solid B.