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.

IT: Chapter Two

Welcome to the final chapter of the Losers club!

The one thing I will say about this film, is that Andy Muschietti has developed such a strong persona with both of these films. The first half of IT: Chapter Two had great camerawork and transitions, that made the story flow to and from each character introduction.

IT: Chapter Two, did not exceed my expectations like the first one but it somehow still left me content with where the characters ended up. It’s always impossible to adapt a Stephen King novel and I’m very happy that they incorporated that into the film. There were pieces of dialogue that mirrored the Kubrick “The Shining” discourse and naturally Muschietti also incorporated similar scenes.

The best part about both of these chapters are the actors and their counterparts. Every single child actor and adult actor, mirrored their character perfectly and THAT is what made IT: Chapter 2 so bloody entertaining. Yes, it was very long and it dragged out BUT the character interactions were the best part of this film. Bill Hader stole the show, playing Richie so perfectly AND James Ransone nailed the hypochondriac and fast talking Eddie! Both of them were standouts for me!

Unfortunately the story somehow got away from them because they attempted to do too much with the characters. They had developed Richie’s backstory, made implications about what he was hiding and then never explored that for him. The beginning makes sense, only if you make the connection to Richie Tozier, or else it was misplaced and beyond crude to open a film in that way.