The Peanut Gallery Reviews Doctor Sleep
PG Score: 8/10
Doctor Sleep is a formidable continuation of the legendary groundwork created by The Shining. Mike Flanagan excels at navigating the balance between bringing in new ideas and paying homage to the original. This is a large, looming mass of a movie. It infiltrated my very core and really started to grow within me. As the movie progresses, the intrigue grows increasingly stronger. This is a nod to the pacing, which is really impressive. It’s a gradual rise to a worthy finale that manages to maintain just the right speed throughout. The plot takes its time to build, but never grows tiresome. The characters, casting, and acting are all brilliant. Ewan McGregor is nothing short of superb as Danny Torrance. He captures the mannerisms you’d hope for in an adult version of the quiet little boy from The Shining. His chemistry with Kyliegh Curran, who plays Abra, is palpable. Kyliegh does a fantastic job of portraying the strong, confident, and powerful Abra. She is a force to be reckoned with in regard to actress and character; Curran has a bright future ahead of her.
The standout here is Rebecca Ferguson though, who plays Rose The Hat, the main villain of the film.
I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure about this casting before seeing Doctor Sleep. Boy, oh boy, was I wrong. She was magnificent. Rose is a particularly despicable, bone-chilling, and depraved character on multiple levels. Ferguson is not only convincing in this role, she’s downright unsettling. Her line-delivery, facial expressions, even the way she carries herself is just haunting. This is an evil, evil individual and she just nails it. It’s by far the best performance of her career and one that should be worthy of praise for years to come. Speaking of praise, the casting director here should be commended as well. The music in Doctor Sleep spooky in all the right ways. It hits the correct chords both audibly and internally. The sound effects are also well-used and definitely best appreciated in a theater. The cinematography and camera work are equally strong. Everything from the wide shots, top-down views, to the sprawling panoramas showcasing the settings for some of the film’s bigger set pieces are great. This flick isn’t so much scary as it is unsettling. The one area I do think could’ve been better is the fright department, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be scary. It just would’ve been nice to be a bit more on the edge of my seat due to fear, rather than sheer intrigue related to the plot itself.
Doctor Sleep effectively walks the tightrope of adding meaningful lore to the fold while also retreading the glorious footsteps of the original. This is by all means a great movie in its own right and I do wholeheartedly recommend it.