focus on... doctor sleep
Hitting cinemas this Halloween is the sequel adaption to the literary sequel of classic horror novel The Shining, from legendary author Stephen King, and, also the sequel to classic horror film The Shining, from legendary director Stanley Kubrick.
Still with us? Good, then we shall proceed.
It is no great secret that King holds relatively negative views on the work Kubrick produced when adapting his 1977 novel, citing many of the changes made to the story and characters. So, in 2013, when he published the long-awaited sequel Doctor Sleep, he straight up ignored every change that had been made. Which meant that as soon as a film adaption was green lit, writer/director Mike Flanagan had his work cut out for him in trying to appease both King himself, and the many fans of Kubrick's 1980 cinematic masterpiece.
Luckily for us movie-goers it seems as though he has absolutely nailed it, with the film already receiving glowing reports from the critics. But what is it about? Let's metaphorically cycle down this not-at-all creepy corridor and find out.
No, not that one. Doctor Sleep puts us back in the life of Danny Torrance, the young, supernaturally gifted boy last seen screeching Redrum like a delusional ET and fleeing the wintery isolation of The Overlook hotel with his mum Wendy (Shelley Duval) following the psychotic breakdown of his murderous father Jack (Jack Nicholson).
Now a grown man (played by Ewan McGregor), Danny, or simply Dan as he is now known, struggles with his own demons, following in his fathers footsteps of anger issues and alcohol abuse. Dan has suppressed his psychic abilities, known as The Shining, only occasionally allowing himself to use it when comforting dying patients at the hospice he now works at. This act of kindness earns him the nickname Doctor Sleep, as patients know that if he turns up at your bedside it means that you are more than likely headed for that long sleep.
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what's it about?
Dan comes into contact with a young girl named Abra, a similarly gifted teenager who is being hunted by a very sinister cult known as True Knot, led by the downright evil Rose The Hat (Rebecca Ferguson), who aim to feed off the abilities of people who possess The Shine, in order to achieve immortality. Spoiler warning: they don't simply ask nicely.
Dan and Abra team up to battle Rose and her cult members, a battle that will see Dan forced to face his fears at the one place on Earth he never wanted to see again: The Overlook Hotel.
In covering aspects of both the original book and film, this sequel will have a lot of story to tell, and luckily with a runtime of around 2:30 hours, it will have plenty of time to do so.
who's is directing?
Mike Flanagan, fast developing a reputation as one of the most exciting horror directors in the business following his work on The House on Haunted Hill as well as Netflix Original Gerald's Game, itself a Stephen King adaptation, is the man in the hot seat.
He describes this film as portraying the recovery process of an addiction, whereas the original was a thinly veiled exploration into the mind of an addict. Just add a sprinkle of naked old lady ghosts and a lift full of blood and you're good to go.
Having already achieved something that Kubrick couldn't in impressing King with the final cut of the film, the next challenge is convincing the public to check into The Overlook one last time. Which isn't a bad idea - after all, all work and no play make us all dull boys and girls.
Doctor Sleep is in cinemas nowBack to Film Club