Doctor Sleep (2019)

Written and directed by Mike Flanagan. Based on the book by Stephen King. Starring Ewan McGregor, Rebecca Ferguson, Kyliegh Curran, Cliff Curtis, Carl Lumbly, Zahn McClarnon, Emily Alyn Lind, Bruce Greenwood, Jocelin Donahue, Carel Struycken, Alex Essoe, Zackary Momoh and Henry Thomas.

Plot: Dan Torrance (McGregor) has to protect a young girl with similar powers to his, from a cult whose members seek eternal life.

We watched the director’s cut of this sequel to The Shining and we recommend you do the same. It was completely worth the extra 28 minutes. It opens in the 80’s. We find out that the ghosts from The Overlook have followed young Danny out of the hotel. A deceased Dick (Lumbly) tells him that if he doesn’t do something about it, the ghosts will eat him alive. So, he gives young Danny a box and tells it to “put it in his head” for when the Room 237 bitch – and others – come back. Later, Danny sees the woman from 237 in his bathtub at home and he places her in one of these boxes in his head.

Fast forward to 2019, Dan Torrance has a job in a hospice and he’s using his shine to help people pass over peacefully. Hence the title, Doctor Sleep. Bad news though, there’s a cult called the True Knot killing people who shine. They torture these people because their “steam” tastes better that way. They kill one boy and a girl named Abra (Curran) who’s shine is hella strong, sends a psychic message to Dan telling him about this. But Rose the Hat (Ferguson), the leader of the cult, has caught wind of Abra and wants her steam above all others. So, after some hesitation, Dan decides to help Abra, not only by saving her, but by helping her stop the cult from killing others as well.

The movie was very engaging for a three hour film. They made the protagonists so likable that you really cared when they were in danger. It followed rules, had a great cast, decent Freddy Claws and was sufficiently creepy all the way around. But especially the Room 237 woman. God, do we hate her. Oh, and the ending was just terrific. DJ was hoping it would end that way and when it did it was just so damn satisfying. And maybe this is blasphemy, but we could care less: we loved it WAY better than Stanley Kubrick’s version of The Shining. As a matter of fact, DJ didn’t like the Kubrick version at all, but he loved this. Do with that what you will.

Our score: 84.

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