Hello Doctor Sleep… (Movie Review)

Doctor Sleep Movie ReviewHey there folks! So I went to see Doctor Sleep (2019) earlier last week. I have been passively following this film since it had been green lit and to be honest I thought they were making a TV series out King’s book, at first. It was not until I recently caught a trailer for Doctor Sleep (2019) that I realized it was opening in theaters. Upon watching the trailer, my interest was piqued, but I knew that many Stephen King books-turned-movies are either hit or, definitely, miss. Despite how polarizing Stephen King story adaptations can be, I am one who can enjoy them regardless! Even Sleepwalkers (1992) and Thinner (1996) are entertaining to me! I just love the King! That being said which category does Doctor Sleep (2019) fall under? Come play with us and find out!

Doctor Sleep (2019) is a drama/fantasy/horror directed by, none other than, Mike Flanagan, the man behind the Netflix series The Haunting of Hill House (2018). As for the writing, the film is based on the novel by, the king himself, Stephen King and receives a screenplay by, the director,  Mike Flanagan. Who is starring in the film? Some pretty talented folks. So we have Ewan McGregor, as a grown up Danny Torrance, Rebecca Ferguson, as our titular villain Rose the Hat, Kyliegh Curran as a new shiner, along with Cliff Curtis, Zahn McClarnon, Emily Alyn Lind, Selena Anduze, Robert Longstreet, Carel Struycken, Catherine Parker, James Flanagan, not sure if there is a relation there, and Met Clark. Doctor Sleep (2019) is produced by Jon Berg, who produced films like Wonder Woman (2017), Justice League (2017), and Aquaman (2018), and also Trevor Macy who was the producer on Flanagan’s aforementioned Netflix series The Haunting of Hill House (2018), and one of Flanagan’s previous films Oculus (2013). The cast and crew are quite excellent and what we get on screen is hypnotizing, but does Doctor Sleep deliver?

Doctor Sleep

I have had a few brushes with Flanagan’s work before. I will not list them all, but I will mention a few. I would say that The Haunting of Hill House (2018) told a beautifully, tragic horror story while Gerald’s Game (2017) depicts a straight up horrifying, introspective look of an abusive/dwindling relationship. Much like Ari Aster, director of Hereditary (2018) and Midsommar (2019), I believe Flanagan understands how to navigate the horror genre, while still giving the audience characters we care about and feel invested in, Flanagan more so than Aster. Though Doctor Sleep (2019) does not have as many scares as say The Haunting of Hill House (2018) it doesn’t stop the film from having some disturbing moments. The imaginary that Flanagan uses to depict otherworldly and supernatural happenings never feels out of place. Flanagan, like Aster, has a knack for making out- of-the-realm-of possibility circumstances seamless in our everyday life. I am saying a lot of positive things because the film deserves them, but there are some elements that do knock the film down a few pegs. Nothing that would cripple the film as a whole, but is definitely worth mentioning. So what’s it all about?

So we pick up almost immediately after the events of The Shining (1980). The Torrance family is readjusting to life after Jack Torrance’s death. Danny is still plagued by the nightmarish entities of the hotel, but finds away to lock them away for good. Many years past and Danny, now known as Dan (McGregor), is a lost soul slowly deteriorating into nothing. However, through a strange twist of events and the emergence of a new threat Dan and, his new shine friend, Abra (Kyliegh Curran)  work together to combat dark forces and face some old demons from his past.

Doctor Sleep

All in all I enjoyed this film very much! Like I said between the talent, Flanagan’s directing, the acting, the writing, and the imagery you have quite an impactful and memorable film on your hands. However, I do have a few gripes with how a particular tragic situation is handled in the film and almost plays as comedy. That part did not sit well with me since other elements of the film were handled with a degree of seriousness when they needed to. My other complaint is for the obligatory The Shining (1980) sequences… you know the ones. Those scenes do not ruin the film for me, but they do seem like retread compared to the originality happening in the rest of the film. In Flanagan’s defense referencing source material and the film that came before this one was probably necessary. Despite all that this one is a hit for me! Go out and see it, people!

Doctor Sleep Movie Review

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