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Doctor Sleep Works Best When It Stops Worrying and Forgets Stanley Kubrick

by Ace Damon
Doctor Sleep Works Best When It Stops Worrying and Forgets Stanley Kubrick

If you ever wondered what happened to young Danny Torrance after he and his mother survived the terrible snow ordeal at Overlook Hotel, forced to avoid the devastating cold of the Colorado Rockies, the whims of cruel ghosts and the psychotically The unpredictable scam of alcoholic patriarch Jack Torrance, Mike Flanagan's new movie, Doctor Sleep, is here to provide some answers.

Some things you may have guessed – alcoholism, for example. Based on Stephen King's 2013 sequel to The Shining, Doctor Sleepposits states that the long aftermath of murderous trauma, not to mention a life surrounded by mysterious psychic gifts, is necessarily fraught with struggle. Danny (Ewan McGregor), now middle aged, is a bum: violent, desperate, waging a continuing battle against addiction, is a life lived in the shadow of his father's demons. And Danny's own dark secrets: the ghosts of Overlook that, through the guidance of an old spectral friend, he must learn over time to compartmentalize in psychological lock boxes, or else those spirits, always drawn by the warm white. In light of the boy's powers, they can continue to haunt him.

Doctor Sleep accompanies Danny eight years after his recovery when he was posted in New Hampshire and, thanks to a recovering addicted friend and companion, found a job as an assistant in a nursing home. There, among patients who pass on sooner or later, he is nicknamed "Doctor Sleep," for the comfort he brings to people as they pass. He still has some of that sparkle, as he used to call it, but mostly represses it – even.

Doctor Sleep is a horror movie, but what is immediately striking is its sudden breadth, its humble resistance to the dangers and usual thrills of blockbuster. It is refreshing. This is a story that seems bigger than it is, partly because it catches the glow and does something to it, reveals it by the tenuous, impermanent, and vulnerable force it is. There is a 15-year-old girl named Abra Stone (Kyliegh Curran), for example, who also shines – more powerfully than anyone else – and whose powers are eventually needed to protect.

And then there are the True Nodes, led by Rose the Hat (Rebecca Ferguson). They also glow, but they also consume other people's brightness, which extends their lifespan – at least as long as they can continue hunting. They are due to brilliance, in other words; They need it. Perhaps one of the most revealing details of Flanagan's movie is the way they consume it: huddling around in the bodies of their young victims like addicted vampires, slowly torturing their prey to scare the glow and then releasing it – exhaling the body is called steam – in excitingly huge gulps. It's a little weird, maybe even a little fun, on the verge of the macabre mix of bloodlust and drug club eroticism.

Flanagan, aided by King's text, gives these three strands plenty of breathing room. Lately, he's become an effective director of adult horror, films that diminish kitsch without relying on prestige to look too serious. It works. Oculus, Ouija: Origin of Evil and, more recently, two highly regarded Netflix projects – The Haunting of Hill House, based on Shirley Jackson's classic novel, and Gerald's Game, another adaptation of the king – all share a maturity nice, although maybe they often come up at times like the oldest child, the "adult" in the room.

. (tagsToTranslate) stephen king (t) ian mcewan

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