#FreakoutFriday - Doctor Sleep - Our Movie Review
Starring: Ewan McGregor, Rebecca Ferguson, Cliff Curtis, Kyliegh Curran, Bruce Greenwood, Zahn McClarnon, Emily Alyn Lind, Carl Lumbly
Directed By: Mike Flanagan
When the film adaptation of Doctor Sleep was announced, I can only imagine what went through the head of Director Mike Flanagan. Whatever that is, I am grateful that he made this. He is phenomenal, meticulous, and treats his audience to an experience that lingers long after the end credits have rolled in (I still cringe when I think of the light bulb scene in Oculus or that car scene in Hill House).
So, if you take that passion and marry it with the extraordinary storytelling of Stephen King, you are definitely in for something wonderful, magical and unnerving at the same time topped with the perfect serving of scares.
The movie shows the events that transpired after the unfortunate incident at the Overlook Hotel. Wendy (Alexandra Essoe) and young Danny Torrance (Roger Dale Floyd) relocated in Florida where they try to start over. However, the “residents” of the Overlook Hotel still visits Danny and the bad ones kept haunting him. Dick Hallorann visited him and taught him how to contain the bad ones in a lockbox (a psychic prison that Danny uses by way of Shining). Those who are trapped in his lockbox are not entirely gone and one would not dare to visit that part of his mind. Now grown up, Danny (Ewan McGregor) becomes an alcoholic, suppresses his ability to “shine”, and wanders off the grid until he met Billy Freeman (Cliff Curtis) who helped him recover. While recovering, Danny spent his time working in a hospice and comforts dying patients earning his title as Doctor Sleep.
Meanwhile, a group called True Knot led by Rose the Hat (Rebecca Ferguson), hunts and drains the “steam” from other individuals who “shine” much like vampires consuming blood for longevity. Sometimes, they turn others depending on their ability. One of which is Snakebite Andi (Emily Aly Lind) who can “push” other people to do the things she says or suggests.
In one gruesome scene, Rose the Hat was able to feel Abra (Kyliegh Curran) and her insurmountable ability to “shine”. She becomes obsessed in searching for her leading to several psychic encounters where Rose the Hat was easily defeated. Driven by her rage, the True Knot sets off a plan to track and abduct Abra. Abra and Danny on the other hand, have agreed to help each other and fight back.
After showcasing their respective abilities to “shine”, the final showdown is now set and where else to perfectly stage it? The Overlook Hotel.
Danny and Abra was able to overcome Rose the Hat but the cost of doing so almost consumed him if not for the stop he made before their final confrontation. He overloaded the boiler of hotel, setting it on fire, and finally putting the haunted place to rest.
Clocking in at 2 hours, 31 minutes, Doctor Sleep easily snares you in thanks to the solid performance of the whole cast, the unsettling score, the magnificent visuals, and with a well-managed pace to keep the ball interestingly rolling.
Ewan McGregor, as usual, did not disappoint. Rebecca Ferguson’s Rose the Hat captured my heart (if not my steam) as the main villain – sexy, vicious, cunning, chilling, mesmerizing. The Newton Brothers (usual suspects in Mike Flanagan’s work) took the feeling of dread to another level with their terrifying score. The heart and horror harmoniously dancing together allowed Doctor Sleep to avoid becoming a snooze fest. The scenes paying homage to 1980’s The Shining warrants nostalgia but Mike Flanagan weaved them perfectly to fit his vision and delivered one of the best adaptations of Stephen King’s work.
Doctor Sleep managed to get casual moviegoers onboard by succinctly explaining the narrative’s rules. That’s okay. However, if you want to fully grasp the gravity of what’s happening and appreciate those key visuals, watching The Shining beforehand will surely help.
Shine on, Mike. Shine on, Stephen. And to everyone who made this spectacular film possible, shine on.
Doctor Sleep is now playing in cinemas.
Freak out meter: 9/10
Freak out scene(s): Mrs. Massey and everything that pays homage to Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining
Marc is an aspiring writer who sounds like legit horror fan and owns a cat. Resident Geek @ Geek Freaks Philippines.