Doctor Sleep Review (Pre-Screening)

Mike Flanagan takes the same ambience that made The Haunting of Hill House a sensation and combined it with paying homage to Stanley Kurbrick.

Doctor Sleep is a mixed bag but that’s because Flanagan attempted to combine two styles into one film and that’s where the storytelling became interesting. It’s incredibly difficult to adapt a Stephen King novel AND make a sequel to one of the most critically acclaimed thrillers.

Flanagan KNOWS how to tell a story. The visuals that accompanied this bleak tale about death and the afterlife was definitely thought provoking but the editing made it challenging to feel for the characters.

I understood what Flanagan was trying to do in the first half of the film, by showing 3 different journey’s and having them link together in the middle. It was very choppy but then the radio connection between, Rose, Abra and Dan somehow made the story flow. Young Abra Stone was a powerhouse and Kyliegh Curran did a wonderful job! Her chemistry with Ewan McGregor was so heartfelt and natural. The standout was Rebecca Ferguson as Rose the Hat, her voice and physicality matched with her so well and made me want her as another villain.

The final act was where Flanagan made his mark. He was able to bring The Overlook back to the life in a very nuanced way. The placement of certain aspects from The Shining were utilized correctly and the payoff was strong. Flanagan used the score, characters and camera movements at the right moments in order to bring the audience back into Kubrick’s nightmare.

As a sequel and paying homage to Kubrick, Flanagan did a fantastic job.

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