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Doctor Sleep a good watch, but the book was better




FILM REVIEW: DOCTOR SLEEP (15), LIGHT CINEMA WISBECH, OUT NOW.

STARRING: REBECCA FERGUSON, EWAN MCGREGOR AND KYLIEGH CURRAN.

RUNNING TIME: 2HRS 31MINS. DIRECTOR: MIKE FLANAGAN.

Doctor Sleep (20619537)
Doctor Sleep (20619537)

I’m a huge fan of Stephen King and I’ve read all his books, but with a few notable exceptions I find they don’t translate well to the big screen.

You see, in his novels, King is the master of making you believe. He usually draws you in with 100 pages or so of normality before the horror and the supernaturality slowly slip in and seem quite believable.

But, in film, that’s a lot harder to do and it’s more difficult to invest in some of his more far-fetched ideas. I think that’s why some classics such as Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile and Stand By Me have worked – because they don’t ask your mind to make so many leaps.

Doctor Sleep (20619534)
Doctor Sleep (20619534)

Having said all that, this is a decent enough film. Danny Torrance, the haunted little boy from 1980’s Stanley Kubrickclassic The Shining is now a grown-up, lost soul, fighting alcohol addiction.

Hundreds of miles away, a little girl called Abra Stone, who ‘shines’ even more than Danny, sees the gruesome murder of a young boy. This is carried out by The Knot, a group of vampire-like, almost immortal humans, who live by sucking out the shine from their victims.

The plot and how the three entities become entwined is great and quite faithful to the book, but the constant hark-backs to The Shining, to Overlook Hotel and even replayed scenes from the original film are too much for me.

The film should and would have been good enough to stand on its own without piggybacking its predecessor.

There’s some great acting performances though, with Rebecca Ferguson superb as the evil yet sexy Rose the Hat and new girl on the block, Kyliegh Curran, absolutely captivating as Abra. She’s only 13-years-old but certainly has a huge future ahead of her.

And Ewan McGregor? Yeah, he is totally believable as Danny, both as the down-on-his-luck alcoholic and the recovered, ‘Knot hunter’. But what on earth is going on with that accent? So many times his American pronunciation slipped back to Scottish at the end of a sentence.

To conclude, a decent film if you’ve read the book, probably a whole lot better if you haven’t.

Rating: 7/10

By Jeremy Ransome


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