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Doctor Sleep is good Stephen King, but not great
Justin Hall

Doctor Sleep is based on the novel by Stephen King and also serves as the sequel to The Shining. This movie does its best to honor the original as well as the source material, but that often comes with its own pluses and minuses.

It stars Ewan McGregor as an adult Danny Torrance who is still plagued by the incidents at the Overlook Hotel. He’s become an alcoholic and a drifter as he tries to continuously purge himself of his demons.

Eventually, he stumbles upon the ghost of Dick Halloran (Carl Lumbley) who still guides Danny after death with his psychic abilities. He teaches Danny how to lock away those evil spirits by locking them in boxes.

Danny finds his way into a small town and finds work and treatment for his alcoholism. Cliff Curtis plays his new best friend. Danny also encounters a girl named Abra (Kyleigh Curran) who also has the gift of the Shining.

Rebecca Ferguson costars as the leader of a cult-like group that tries to steal the Shining from those who have and acquire it in order to cease their aging. Haven’t these people heard of plastic surgery?

Like Terminator: Dark Fate, Doctor Sleep is akin to simultaneously playing like a greatest hits compilation and trying to introduce new material at the same time. The results are occasionally uneven and meandering, but for every plot development that doesn’t succeed, there’s other elements that hold it together.

Doctor Sleep does stand on its own as an homage to its iconic predecessor and being very effective thanks in part to the great performances from McGregor and Curran and also a genuinely chilling atmosphere to surround its ludicrous story.

The film does make the mistake of delving into action mode at times when it should be more about suspense, but Doctor Sleep does shine enough in the end.

Grade: B

Rated R for disturbing and violent content, some bloody images, language, nudity and drug use.

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