Doctor Sleep [2019] ★★★

When asked about “Doctor Sleep”, Stephen King said that he wanted to “check up” on Dan Torrance, years after the events of “The Shining”. And indeed, this sequel set over 30 years after the first film gives Ewan McGregor the chance to shine (no pun intended) in a movie that tries to juggle a lot of things all at once and yet miraculously manages to stay focused until the credits start rolling. That’s no easy feat, but director Mike Flanagan truly pulled-off the impossible. This is a thoroughly entertaining sequel that kept me on the edge of my seat at every turn. It’s not scary in the traditional sense of the term, but it is chilling and more character-driven than any other recent films of the genre. It also has an intriguing story to tell, and just the right actors to carry it through. McGregor commands the screen as Dan Torrance, who is still haunted by the events of The Shining (who wouldn’t be?). In a way, “Doctor Sleep” aims at giving his character a proper conclusion, and does so brilliantly. But before that, he has to save a young girl with similar powers from a cult that preys on “special” children. Why and how? You’ll have to see for yourself. But I will say that at 150 minutes, the film is lengthy and has a lot of ground to cover. But somehow, it all works. I didn’t think a follow-up to a classic film would have so much to offer, but this is what makes “Doctor Sleep” so special. It’s that rare instance of a sequel that I’ll find myself recommending for years to come.

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