Doctor Sleep

Although the screenplay is based on Stephen King’s sequel to his novel The Shining, it is most definitely a sequel to Stanley Kubrick’s FILM interpretation of the first book. If you have not seen Kubrick’s film, you will not get nearly as much out of this movie as you should. (In fact, if you haven’t seen The Shining, what is wrong with you?) The story begins with an adult version of Danny Torrence (Ewan McGregor) stumbling his way through life, drunk and despicable. Obviously, he is still suffering from the childhood trauma he endured at the hands of his father and the special abilities that he possesses. He still “shines,” but it serves him only with nightmares. We get to replay some of his past through his memories and visits from ghosts of his past. One of these visits provides advice for coping with his trauma. Once Danny is able to clear his head, he begins to receive messages from a young girl who also shines. And she is so powerful that she manages to capture the attention of a group of ancient ghouls who seek out and consume people like her and Danny. Director Mike Flanagan (Hush, Absentia, The Haunting of Hill House) does a masterful job of not only setting up the story, but also paying homage to Kubrick’s film. Some of the scenes in the Overlook are so masterfully recreated that I got chills. Evan McGregor is perfect as Danny, and Rebecca Ferguson plays Rose so well that the audience hated her guts. I don’t recall being part of an audience so aligned against the villain since In the Company of Men premiered. Kyliegh Curran completely kicks ass as Abra, who is basically a shining superhero. The film has a runtime of 151 minutes, but it never once felt slow or boring. The violence and gore were top notch and just right for the story. I had the added pleasure of seeing it in the theater where some key scenes were shot. I definitely recommend it, and if you live in Atlanta, see it at the Plaza Theatre for added creepiness.