by Steven Wandling
Both Stephen King’s novel and Stanley Kubrick (A Clockwork Orange, Eyes Wide Shut) The Shining are considered touchstones of the genre. Despite King’s feelings about the auteur’s adaptation of his novel of isolation, madness, and a haunted hotel is one of the most iconic films in not just genre history, but the entirety of cinema itself. Stanley Kubrick was a master who made a film that can never be rivaled and is seen by many as horror 101 essential viewing. So why would anyone want to revisit that? It seems that you could only mess such an achievement up. In lesser hands I might actually agree with you, despite being a fan of the source material. Mike Flanagan (The Haunting of Hill House, Oculus)’s Doctor Sleep, is being released by Warner Brothers in November, and if there’s one person that could just pull this off, it’s Flanagan.
Doctor Sleep tells the story of grown up recovering alcoholic Daniel Torrance, and how he is brought back into the supernatural world he had been running from since his horrific childhood at the Overlook Hotel. Stephen King released the long-awaited sequel to the novel in 2014. Without getting into well-publicized history, there are a lot of differences between King’s novel and Kubrick’s film, so it will be very interesting to see how Mike Flanagan melds the two into a seamless narrative. My hope is that, with all due respect to Stephen King, Warner Brothers does not eschew the events as told in Stanley Kubrick’s film. For starters, it could be confusing to audiences that are expecting some call backs to the film that probably got them to go see Doctor Sleep in there first place.
Ewan McGregor (Trainspotting, The Ghost Writer) will be handling the lead role of adult Daniel Torrance. Without spoiling too much, the story revolves around a little girl who also has the shining befriending Daniel, inadvertently drawing him into a supernatural battle of epic proportions. The stakes in King’s novel are big, and those expecting a straight sequel should know beforehand that Doctor Sleep shares DNA with The Shining, but that (at least as a novel) it is entirely its own thing. Mike Flanagan’s name also helps grow interest as he has been consistently making quality horror films and series for a decade now, seemingly without a break. This will be his biggest film to date and it will be interesting to see how he transitions from more indie horror fare to making a sequel to one of the most beloved horror films of all time.
Doctor Sleep opens nationwide in cinemas on November 8th, 2019. Thanks so much for reading! Please check out the other channels on our site that will be filled up with content! Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Share this article with other horror loving friends. If you would like to write for us, just send us a private message or DM on social media. Stay creepy!