Doctor Sleep – Movie Reviews by Ry!

Doctor Sleep – Thrills of Horror and Dreams

Adapting a Stephen King novel is a monumental task.  To capture the heart of the story, you must take the core elements and make it work for that specific medium.  The next adaptation from King’s collection is Doctor Sleep.  With a combination of thrills, strong characters and amazing atmospheric detail, Doctor Sleep is an amazing journey that represents the greatness in a truly adapted tale.

The story follows Dan Torrance (Ewan McGregor), a man with a troubled past that must protect Abra (Kyliegh Curran) from The True Knot, a cult led by the powerful Rose the Hat (Rebecca Ferguson).  Being an adaptation and a sequel, Mike Flanagan (Director) must balance introducing new material to the big screen while continuing from the previous film.  The balance comes in the form of expositional elements driven by characterization, world building and atmosphere.  Dan, having survived certain perils in the past, is struggling to find purpose in his adult life.  His inner demons and suppression of his powers parallels the introduction of Abra and Rose the Hat.  The eeriness of the past is pushed through character interactions, providing purpose to every person that Dan, Abra and Rose encounters.  From the subtleties of Dan and Abra meeting psychically to the unknown terror of the True Knot allows for the story to breathe on its own.  This pushes forward an endearment with tension, creating points where choices have dire consequences.

As the story moves along, Dan and Abra are faced with a dilemma.  Knowing the truth about the cult, they must find a way to take them out without causing any destruction to those close to them.  This leads to crazed psychic interactions that is driven by a cat-and-mouse like approach.  This infusion of thriller sequences within a horror sandbox adds another layer to the tone of the story.  As the ominous moods are driven through realism, it leads into a third act where everything full circle.  Using the deus ex machina technique, Dan revisits his past to protect Abra from Rose.  Even in convenient plot elements, it leads to a climax where horror tropes are turned on its head.  Doctor Sleep is an adaptation that manages to stand on its own while continuing the story from the past.  With strong characters, amazing world-building and engrossing atmosphere, this is a thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat till the end.  I recommend this to fans of Stephen King.  This is thriller is one of the best in quite some time, go see it in theaters.      

Full Score – 4.5 out of 5 (Award Worthy)

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