“Doctor Sleep”, the follow up to the decades old thriller “The Shining”, takes us back to the Stephen King classic story with a film that keeps us entertained and involved but stretches it’s run time to a length that keeps it from reaching true excellence.
Danny Torrance (Ewan Mcgregor) is all grown up and he’s still gifted with his “Shine” that allows him to observe the supernatural. He’s also an alcoholic, who struggles with the traumatic events from that stay in the Overlook hotel. When a new presence with a power greater than his own is detected by a roaming evil, it’s up to him and a brilliant young girl name Abra (Kyliegh Curan), to confront it once and for all.
It’s a good film.
It’s easy to get attached to McGregor and Curan, who each put in great performances that get us invested early. The antagonist Rose (played by Rebecca Ferguson) is just as easy to hate, and it all comes together with some strong storytelling by Writer an Director Mike Flanagan. There really aren’t to many weak links in the film.
Except that it’s about a half hour too long.
This film clocks in at just over two and a half hours. And it’s the same flaw that held back the enjoyable but even longer “IT: Chapter 2”. We spend more time setting up the game pieces than we do actually playing, which is a tactic that can be rewarding but can really test an audience’s patience too.
“Doctor Sleep” still gets a prescription from me. Get settled, and you’ll be prepared for a rewarding suspense film that actually has some heart thrown in for good measure.
Running time: 2hrs 32 minutes.