Doctor Sleep – REDRUM

Doctor Sleep is a 2019 American psychological horror film based on the 2013 novel of the same name by Stephen King.

It is a sequel to King’s 1977 novel The Shining.

The film, following up the 1980 film adaptation of The Shining, directed by Stanley Kubrick, is set several decades after the events of the original, and combines elements of the 1977 novel as well. 

Doctor Sleep is written, directed, and edited by Mike Flanagan.

It stars Ewan McGregor as Danny Torrance, a man with psychic abilities who struggles with childhood trauma. 

Rebecca Ferguson, Kyliegh Curran (in her feature film debut), and Cliff Curtis have supporting roles.

Mike Flanagan makes a return to direction with yet another adaptation of a Stephen King Novel

The task is even made noteworthy as the novel is a sequel of sorts to The Shining

Any Horror Movie aficionado ought to know that The Shining is amongst the Greatest Horror Movies ever made(also happens to be Kubrick’s best)

Let’s begin by figuring what doesn’t work?

  • The length of this movie happens to be it’s biggest short coming
  • Clocking in at a 152 minutes, Flanagan does test our patience in certain sequences
  • However, any person who has been a fan of Flanagan’s filmography(Hush, Oculus) ought to know this:
  • Flanagan has a way of unraveling story & character arcs
  • It gives the audience a chance to connect with the characters
  • At this run time, some sequences do test our patience(Honestly!)
  • This is the only grouse I found with the screen play

So, what truly WORKS?

  • BUT, if we are willing to get past the grouse of the run time, then you are in for a treat
  • Once we have embraced the run time, Magic happens
  • The characters, story arcs all start coming together during the 2nd act
  • The narrative starts sprinting here onward

Now how does this happen?

  • Flanagan invests a good amount of time to give layers to the characters
  • Once he’s done that, we are now invested in 3 different narratives
  • When these start coming together, you start seeing the true essence of the concept
  • All the obfuscation in your head vanishes in an instant
  • So when your head clears, you will be like: Whoa!
  • The 2nd act sprints from inertia to a torrent of activity
  • This sudden hail storm of events(most of the 2nd act) gets us right at the doorsteps of The Overlook
  • Now for those of you not familiar with The Shining, I promise, this is not a spoiler

Flanagan uses this ruse to create a climax that succeeds in 2 things:

  • This part of Doctor Sleep pays a fitting homage to Kubrick’s masterpiece
  • It also manages to stay close to King’s vision for Doctor Sleep and The Shining
  • The Cinematography by Michael Fimognari is mind boggling
  • The terror, angst and surrealism are captured beautifully in almost every frame
  • The Score by The Newton Brothers is downright eerie and lends an apt touch of fear in the most pivotal sequences

Let’s talk Performances

  • Ewan McGregor is restrained in the role of a troubled man battling his abilities and the demons that come with it
  • Rebecca Ferguson as the antagonist some how manages to essay a performance that is a sublime yet perfect mix of eclectic, eccentric, sensual, gorgeous yet extremely Lethal
  • The adjectives preceding extremely Lethal will cause you to walk into your death
  • That is the effect of her performance!
  • Her domination and resolve to succeed no matter the cost is effective
  • The real pick here though is Kyliegh Curran
  • This youngster in the role of a gifted psychic startles with her act
  • Her range of emotions is diverse and a delight to witness
  • It is hard to view her performance as that of a child
  • The effortlessness she brings to her role will surprise you

So, The Verdict?

  • This Doctor Sleep definitely deserves to be seen before you sleep
  • It is a well made product by Flanagan with all aspects of production being Top-Notch
  • Please head out to your nearest theater to see how Flanagan creates terror out of nothing

P.S: Kubrick/Shining/King fans will be in for a treat with the 3rd act

  • Just for that act alone, this movie is worth the price of a ticket for all you die hard fans of either of these 3
  • I apologize for writing this 2 days too late; however it is a plea to all horror fans to witness this while it is playing in theaters



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