Let’s be honest: how many of you know about the sequel to “The Shining”?
When I pose this question to many different people, they’ve always responded with a blunt “no,” followed by a sudden interest and curiosity. Originally based on Stephen King’s 1977 novel of the same name, “The Shining” has cemented itself within Hollywood history dividing the fandom who praise the film for its profound, scary message, and those who feel that it is a lackluster entry in the horror genre. Now nearly 40 years later, audiences will be reuniting with Danny Torrance and returning to the Overlook Hotel, as the film follows a story that is again based on a book from King.
There is just one major problem: nobody seems to know that this film even exists.
Not only does excitement for this film seem scarce, but it also appears almost non-existent. In a hopeful attempt to bring more awareness to the film, I’m listing the three reasons why you should be excited for “Doctor Sleep.”
It’s a sequel to the most infamous horror movie of all time.
Regardless of your opinion on “The Shining,” you cannot deny its prominence within the horror genre. This is a movie that is universally known for its iconic moments, with many that can be recognized by people who haven't seen the film. Given the film’s finite ending, many people are shocked to learn that a sequel also exists. The book was even rare territory for King, who wrote the sequel to his third book back in 2013. King claims to have always wondered about Danny Torrance, questioning how such a youthful traumatic experience could shape a human. The film is said to answer these questions, as an adult, Danny Torrance is forced to return to the Overlook Hotel to protect a young girl who is being hunted by people that feed off of “the shine”.
It’s directed by the creator of “The Haunting of Hill House.”
Adapting King’s work for the silver screen is up-and-coming horror director Mike Flanagin. Although Flanagin has been in the horror business for years, he indeed received mainstream acclaim for his work with “The Haunting of Hill House” a series which he created, directed, wrote and produced. Flanagin’s work on “The Haunting of Hill House” drew critical and commercial acclaim, with critics praising it for terrifying drama, and it’s the ability to withstand cheap jump scares. Flanagin’s horror style seems like a good match for the sequel to “The Shining”, as the original film rarely has any jump-scares.
It’s a direct sequel to Stanley Kubrick’s film, while still having Stephen King’s blessing.
Arguably the reason “The Shining” has been cemented within Hollywood History, is the fact that King hated Kubrick’s adaptation of his work. King is notorious for being outspoken against the film, claiming that it failed to capture the terrifying family drama, which he claims to be the real horror of his work. These differences create somewhat of an enigma, as “Doctor Sleep” is a sequel to both the film and book versions of “The Shining”, both of which share significant differences. Despite the film near-perfectly recreating shot’s from Kubrick’s film, “Doctor Sleep” is still receiving strong support from King, who has given his “blessing” on the film. It’s unclear if the film will be more of a sequel to the movie or book (although most signs point to the film), but it’ll be interesting to see if this film can walk the finite line and please audiences on both sides.
“Doctor Sleep” not only has the potential to be a fantastic film, but it can also end up being a surprise hit. This is a movie that is readily approaching, and that needs to increase it’s marketing to bring audience attention. This is a film that should be on everyone’s radar and is easily one of my most anticipated movies for the back half of 2019.
“Doctor Sleep” hits theaters on Nov. 8, 2019.