Thursday, January 16, 2020

We will see who does the screaming...

It's probably obvious if you know me, but, uh, I read a lot of Stephen King as a kid.

Like, if I wasn't reading The Hardy Boys, I was pretty much all in on King. It was either wholesome crime-solving capers with my dudes Frank and Joe, or navigating the f--ked-up mind of the King of Horror. Sadly, there was no in between.

I don't remember a lot of particulars, but it seemed, in the King way of looking at things, there were some ground rules:

a) mysterious forces were always in play
b) people were divided into two distinct camps, good and evil
c) bad things were going to happen, and almost certainly to little kids

Even if my rules are figments or fractures of thirty year-old memories, Doctor Sleep goes a resounding three for three. An entirely more digestible sequel to The Shining, director Mike Flanigan's latest plays more like an action movie than a horror flick, but don't take that as a knock against it. The pace is nothing short of electric. And while the scares are really good, they weren't the reason I was stiff. 

The overwhelmingly sexy Rebecca Ferguson, ahem, plays a mysterious woman named Rose the Hat. Rose is the leader of this fairly chill/totally f--ked -up crew of vampires, who get their jollies off of eating little kids. Well, more like inhaling them, but either way it ain't fun for the wee ones. The catch, is it ain't just any kids that they're after - it's the kids with psychic powers - kids that can shine.

Decades after whatever the f--k happened at The Overlook, Ewan McGregor plays Danny, a now grown-up version one of those kids Rose would desperately love to sink her teeth into (uh, is there a sign up sheet being passed around? I brought my own pen). Danny is now a raging alcoholic and all-around piece of garbage, not that I blame him. Clearly, this dude is haunted by his past (to this day, if I'm alone, I sprint through all hotel hallways), and drunk sex with single moms seems to be his best bet for surviving the day (again, the pen works, I just didn't see the form). Danny's gotta get his shit together, fast, so he does what all winners do. He heads to New England.

Turns out, Danny is a good man, Hell, maybe a great man, and ends up kicking all sorts of ass working in hospice care. His gifts allow him to communicate with (and ultimately comfort) his patients, providing a serene end for many, and in turn, earning the rad nickname Doctor Sleep. 

One can only assume that part of the initiation into this gang is vigorous sex with its leader.
I mean, RIGHT???
Unfortunately for the good doctor, though crazy-fantastic for me (I was the only one in the theater, so yeah, me), his quiet life is upended, as he starts receiving messages from a young girl named Abra. This chick is basically the LeBron James of the shine game, and has sensed not only the existence of Rose and her crew (and their wicked intentions), but she's also caught wind of a brutal murder they've recently committed. 

Even though she's as tough as they come (this is major understatement, by the way), Abra's going to need a little help from Danny. And if there's anyone that can mentor an mysteriously powerful young person, it's Ewan McGregor. Initially, he wants nothing to do with it, and just keep on keepin' on in his quiet like as Doctor Sleep. But as the horrors of Rose become more...tangible...he has no choice but to get involved.

Also having no choice in the matter, are the Yays and Boos. I'm not positive they can shine exactly, but I think if you spend enough time with them, the suggestion of taking your own life would seem pretty reasonable.

This Moulin Rouge sequel is gonna be wild.
  • The private showing is always appreciated. I wish I had had a heads up, though, I mean, I wouldn't have bothered with those damn itchy pants.
  • Mr. Hallorann, my guy, is it cool if I borrow that mind-box trick? There's a ton of stuff/people I'd like to lock away forever, thanks.
  • I'm all for unique talents, and looking like a young Shelley Duvall cetainly qualifies as a unique talent (was that CGI? Nah, don't answer that).
  • I'm pretty sure gravity doesn't affect Rebecca Ferguson. No, no - not just in the movie. Like, at all.
  • Is it weird that I was sort of longing for a blackboard after this one? Not because I miss them, but when they were prominent in schools...none of my current students were born.
  • Maybe I'm too cynical, but I initially didn't trust Billy Freeman (the always rad Cliff Curtis) in the least. Turns out not only do I trust him with my life, but, uh...I think I actually love him
  • Cute Girl: Am I still human? Sexy Woman: Do you care? Guy in Audience: *dies*
  • Hospice shouldn't be a Yay, but man I loved everything about Danny and the way he guided these people into the afterlife. Hell, I even loved the damn cat (and I'm way more of a dog person).
  • Any time we get Ewan singing is the best time.
  • Imagine being at that grocery store that day? Holy shit, right?
  • Can't say I was expecting one of the best shootouts of the year to be in a damn horror movie...(wow/f--k this [see below])
  • The old door!
  • While I couldn't find you a weak link in the cast if I wanted to, Kyliegh Curran is beyond good here. I think this kind of role (super kid w/ powers) has traditionally been not great, at best (see: every Star Wars movie, ever) but Curran is fantastic.
  • Of course I can't remember it now, but I noted that the score was f--king brilliant, so I'm going to just assume it was if that's okay with you.
  • And finally, even if she's distractingly hot, and even if her accent, uh, shines through here and there, I may be willing to go on the record as saying Rebecca Ferguson is officially my number one. I know, I know, this all may change come Wonder Woman '84, but there is absolutely nothing I wouldn't watch to spend more time with Ferguson. The only way I can think to describe her beauty (without awful hand gestures and moaning noises)? It's unfair.
Of all the things to never unsee...
  • Aw, this little girl is so sweet. And her name's Violet? That's my daughter's name! Oh, what's that? What are they doing to her? *exits theater immediately*
  • Apparently, Rose's crew is known as the True Knot (I guess?), and well, these f--kers are a bit creepy to say the least. At first I was thinking they were a pretty chill bunch of a-holes. But that was before all the child murdering and sexually eating grandpa.
  • Jeez, when we first caught up to Danny in 2011 New Jersey, I thought I'd inadvertantly walked into a sneak peak of Trainspotting 3. Hell, a baby crawling across the ceiling might be progress at this point.
  • Oooh, who's this sexy chick at the movies? She seems nice. Nope. Scratch that. ('that' turns out would have been my face)
  • Turns out, ol' Blondie from the multiplex is pretty much the f--king worst villain in the history of time. Who knew the greatest power of all would be suggestion?
  • Hey! Little Jacob Tremblay is in this. Awww, he's so...ohgodno.
  • I wrote: 'the HAND - F--K!!' and I'm not sure why. Feels like a Boo, right?
  • Probably the only thing worse than burying a child is digging one up.
  • YOU F--KING BITCH. Since I was alone, I actually said, aloud, Nononononono and was legitimately waving a certain character no avail.
  • There's something a bit odd about this bartender guy, Lloyd, no? I feel like I've seen him somewhere...
  • Cut her knees? Fine. Just don't... just don't hurt the boobs, okay?
  • Oook, we're putting thumbs inside of body openings? Sounds fun.
  • And finally, two things. First, if I can finally cash in all my film-geek cred, I never really dug The Shining. I've seen it only a few times (and not in the last decade or two), but I always found it...cumbersome. And that's putting it mildly. I think I've said this before...but I honestly preferred the four and a half-hour television remake with the dude from Wings. I know, what a dick. But the remedy of this is my second point: I bought the 4K remaster of Kubrick's The Shining for a revisit...and never got around to watching it. Yet?
Doctor Sleep was yet another film I almost managed to not see. I actually caught it on it's very last showing in my dumpy hill-billy town, and I'm so fortunate I did. Not only because it's really f--king good, but also, because like with King's books, my life can also be boiled down to three rules:

a) mysterious forces are always in play...when it comes to trying to watch movies at home
b) people are divided into two distinct camps, adults and kids (good and evil)
c) bad things were going to happen, if I try to stay awake past ten-thirty


  1. Tremblay's death scene is hands down the most disturbing thing I've seen in a movie all year. I can't believe the original cut went on for longer. Like, that was ENOUGH!

    I liked this too. I felt the length of it, which was my biggest complaint. I loved Ferguson's accent too. I had to look up why she sounded that way. lol

    1. I'm really interested in the director's cut, but can't imagine I need more of this cute kid (who's basically my son's age) being killed. Hard pass...(on that scene!).

      What's funny about the length, Brittani - I didn't feel it AT ALL. I looked up and was thinking 'holy shit, where did the time go?' Maybe I blacked out?

      I loved Ferguson's ________________.

  2. I said it before but if Dune features a sex scene between her and Isaac we are both gonna die

    The hand thing was when her hand got stuck in a drawer. Flanagan and King have real problems with hands, what happened in Gerald's Game was even worse

    You may wanna check out my Best performances of 2019 post :)

    1. Well if that's what kills me, I've had a good run...

      Aw,'re right! (of course) That was soooo gnarly, I'm shaking my hand just thinking about it. Yeeeouch. (Dammit...I only started Gerald's Game...and then passed out)

      Give me five minutes and I'm there.

    2. I am sure even if I somehow get laid again it will go exactly like Gerard's Game since I am exclusively into much older dudes so there is no way he wont die on top of me

      There was a dog there, I think, who just kinda let her be but in my version I will definetly end up getting eaten by Feral dogs

    3. That's...unfortunate. I mean, get laid. But...dude dies on top of you. If I remember correctly...just, uh...maybe pass on the handcuffs? That'll probably keep the dogs off your back, too. And your face.

    4. but...where's the fun in that?

  3. Ah! So glad you liked it! I'm sure WW84 will give Ferguson a run for her money but that MI leg/gun combo scene in that dress..... I mean... I get it man... I get it...

    I didn't dig the main girl tho.. I just didn't connect with her. I was half rooting for Ferguson at one point to go in for the kill :D

    1. I did. Probably more than is acceptable for an adult.

      Totally. I'm talking shit now, but when WW84, I'm probably done for.

      What? Really? She was sooo good! How dare you cheer for Ferguson. Wait. Hold on. No, no...that's fully allowed. And frankly, encouraged.

  4. Easily in my Top 20 from last year and a movie I wish more people had given a shot. Glad you did and enjoyed it.