It is the old style filmmaking residing between the temperament that warms the tea and whistles the kettle. I’d like to have a cup of that.
Mike Flanagan who directed and adapted this controversial novelization for the screen is an apt choice to voice the second swing by Stephen King on Dan’s character and the supernatural element it possesses. Why controversial? It actually is like being in a tug of war game where you are the price. But I think Flanagan found a sweet spot, that gray area that any horror director would love to have in plenty. And that is why his procedure that takes its time properly, gets the job done. It couldn’t be more book-ish. It reeks of old book and I love every aspect of that. Each character, every fabric of information that stacks and builds the final countdown brick by brick is simply novelizing.
No regrets. If you have to host a news show as such, you have to stage it like this. No need to celebrate or electrify, just words floating around, so loud, so big that even performance and other characteristics gets overlapped by King’s vision. In this sense it feels, I don’t want to say anti-Kubrick but definitely pro-King. But you can only walk far away if you are expecting for the audience to read this story on screen rather than experience.
Ergo, comes these stills and thrills that has the mind bending look that appears like Stanley Kubrick’s dream. The swooshing and whooshing of the adrenaline rush that warps these characters to their self-created reality and the deafening snapping of reality that wakes them up. Another asset is of course Ewan McGregor as Dan with this time axe on HIS hands. McGregor’s performance is magnificent, child like it seems to me, even though he tells it to be inspired from Jack Nicholson’s madness. He cries when he is terrified and falls for the easiest motion that exists. All in all, Doctor Sleep is a functioning system. You don’t see that nowadays.