<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>


Directed by Mike Flanagan. Starring Ewan McGregor, Rebecca Ferguson, Kyliegh Curran, Carl Lumbly, Zahn McClarnon, Emily Alyn Lind, Bruce Greenwood, Cliff Curtis, Alex Essoe, Joceliln Donahue, Jacob Tremblay, Carel Struycken

Running time: 2 hours 30 mins


Based on Stephen King’s books and a follow up to The Shining, Doctor Sleep doesn’t really require you to have watched the first film but it helps to appreciate it more.

Forty years after the events at the Overlook Hotel that saw his father Jack Torrance go crazy trying to kill him and his mom, Danny (Ewan McGregor) is a mess but gets started on a road to recovery. Flashbacks to the past are interwoven in the film to show us his troubled childhood. With the help of his friend in a new town, Danny recovers and hones his psychic abilities with help from a ‘pen pal’ called Abra (Kyliegh Curran) who is a young girl with ‘the shining’ powers. But a coven of soul eaters called The Knot don’t like that these two are meddling in their dastardly deeds so Rose the Hat (Rebecca Ferguson) and her band of baddies decide to find the girl and kill her.


There’s plenty of eeriness and wonder in Doctor Sleep that keeps you mystified and is also a tad disturbing. The references to the past aren’t confusing even if you haven’t watched The Shining recently. But director Mike Flanagan has used music, shadows, similar camera angles and scene fades to tie the two movies together and it works well. While the The Shining is more of a character-driven study with few players – Jack Nicholson was awesome and perfect for the role – Doctor Sleep has a wider palette of characters and stories.

Doctor Sleep is also a lot more disquieting than The Shining with its child torture and abduction scenes. It’s not your regular scary movie, which is a plus.


And if you haven’t watched The Shining before watching this film, you can go home and watch it on Netflix and that will certainly enhance the experience.

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