Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Movie Review: Doctor Sleep

Doctor Sleep, the new movie directed by Mike Flanagan, is coming out November 8. Based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, this is a sequel to The Shining. I was invited to attend an advance screening of this movie last night, so I jumped at the chance to see it.

While the Stanley Kubrick adaptation of The Shining is considered to be a classic horror film, some fans of the book don’t like it. Even Stephen King doesn’t like the original movie because he felt it deviated too much from its source material. This is a big reason why he worked with Mick Garris on a made-for-TV version of The Shining in 1997 starring Steven Weber. I haven’t read either The Shining or Doctor Sleep so I can’t weigh in on this argument. However, I can say that I watched the Kubrick film several years ago and didn’t enjoy it. I found it to be too long and boring. I plan on giving it a second chance sometime soon, and I’ve already started watching the Mick Garris made-for-TV version. But let’s get back to Doctor Sleep.

Starring Ewan McGregor, Doctor Sleep is a wonderful horror film. It’s atmospheric, has an inventive premise, and the acting is excellent. McGregor is convincing as an alcoholic with demons of biblical proportions, and, perhaps, the most enjoyable actor in the entire movie is Rebecca Ferguson, who steals every scene she’s in. At 152 minutes, Doctor Sleep is longer than a typical horror movie, yet it remains compelling throughout. You don’t need to have seen or read The Shining to appreciate Doctor Sleep. It’s a masterfully directed film that I highly recommend.

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