Movie Review: ‘Doctor Sleep’

November 13, 2019 at 7:16 am | Posted in Movies, Reviews | 1 Comment

Doctor Sleep is interesting in that it’s not just a movie based off a Stephen King book, but a sequel to a Stephen King book and a sequel to a movie, which is a rare thing. As a fan of the original Stanley Kubrick movie The Shinning, I was interested to see how this film would tie-in or differ since Kubrick’s movie was a slight departure from the book. Also, I was a little disappointed with how the book Doctor Sleep ended, so I was hoping this movie could somehow save the story and make it better. Amazingly, this film was able to do all of the above and more. It captures all the core features of the book and makes it better, it links into Kubrick’s film to create a near seamless continuation of the story, and it stands as a second chapter fusing together both book and film to create a thing of it’s own.

Right from the start, this movie gets it right hitting the audience with those ominous musical tones from Kubrick’s The Shinning and spiraling the viewer down into a forest to introduce us to the villains of the story. Throughout the film there’s a great handling of the visuals. There’s some neat tricks down with re-orienting the landscape in relation to those using the shinning to push the magic sensation of what’s going on. On top of that, there’s a great recreation of events to capture the original film. It’s near seamless simply due to the choice of recasting the characters, but they did do a really good job with casting. The casting for the new characters is great too.

While we all know Ewan McGregor, who does a fantastic job, the movie would have fallen flat resided on him alone. One of the strengths of this film is the other key protagonist, Abra played by Kyliegh Curran. Kyliegh knocks it out of the park with her performance. In this film, she’s the kid with the shinning who is learning how to use it and is a threat with the villains coming after her. It’s up to Ewan to help her out. And speaking of the villains, the casting doesn’t falter there. Rebecca Ferguson plays the main baddie Rose the Hat who leads her evil gypsy caravan of soul sucking vampires. Fleshing out that caravan are people like Zahn McClarnon who plays her right hand man, Crow Daddy. He was a key character in the book and they do a good job with him in the film. If you’re a fan of Westworld you might recognize him as he played Akecheta those he doesn’t have his startling black and white makeup in this one. Also there’s Carel Struycken playing Grampa Flick. You’ll probably recognize him as Lurch from The Addams Family, or maybe Terak from Ewoks: The Battle For Endor. While a small role, Struycken brings just the right flavor to it, making it more than what it should be given so little screen time and dialog. Altogether, the casting creates the perfect balance between strong protagonists and antagonists.

But bringing it altogether is Mike Flanagan, the director. Seriously, this guy did a great job. In welding all these elements together, fusing them into one smooth running and engrossing story, he delivers a fantastic movie. And it really is a fusion of film and literature. The movie takes the key elements from the book and makes it work with the altered film story that Kubrick created, but goes even further to bring it around and mesh it altogether. From great acting, cinematography, special effects, music and sound, the movie nails it all.

If you’re a fan of The Shinning, you’ll definitely want to see this one. I give it a five out of five metal bikinis.

Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.


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  1. […] skuldren: “In welding all these elements together, fusing them into one smooth running and engrossing story, he delivers a fantastic movie. And it really is a fusion of film and literature.” […]

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