film column – Doctor Sleep

Ewan McGregor in 'Doctor Sleep'

AFTER his terrifying childhood stay in the Overlook Hotel, ‘Doctor Sleep’ takes up the story of Danny Torrance 40 years later.

I have to admit I approached this film with great trepidation, and not because it is a sequel to one of the greatest horror movies of all time.

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I mean, did we really need to revisit Stanley Kubrick’s classic ‘The Shining’? It is not as if it could ever be bettered.

But what had me most concerned is that Ewan McGregor, who plays the lead role of Danny Torrance in Mike Flanagan’s new film, had previously made a good stab at killing off ‘Star Wars’ in his embarrassingly ham-fisted role as Obi-Wan Kenobi. Sure, he had some help from the insufferable Jar Jar Binks but I still couldn’t help worrying that this Stephen King adaptation was going to be ‘The Phantom Menace’ bad!

In fairness, it is not, and Ewan McGregor even gives one of his better on-screen performances as the broken Danny Torrance. But it is Rebecca Ferguson as the Stevie Nicks-esque Rose The Hat who really steals the show.

‘Doctor Sleep’ is long, longer than the original film, but as sequels go it is a surprisingly solid and enjoyable watch. It is only in the final act when it becomes a pastiche of ‘The Shining’ that things really start to fall apart. Still, it is a far better movie than I expected it to be. It works as a flawed yet intriguing companion piece to Kubrick’s masterpiece.