The Shining is one of the most acclaimed horror movies of all-time. For everyone except Stephen King, that is. The author famously hated Stanley Kubrick’s vision of his 1977 novel, calling it the only adaptation of his work he could “remember hating.” Maybe King will enjoy Doctor Sleep more.
Based on the 2013 novel of the same name, Doctor Sleep follows a grown-up Danny Torrance, played then by Danny Lloyd and now by Ewan McGregor (and Bart Simpson in the best “Treehouse of Horror” episode), some 40 years after the events of The Shining. Here’s the official plot summary:
Still irrevocably scarred by the trauma he endured as a child at the Overlook, Dan Torrance has fought to find some semblance of peace. But that peace is shattered when he encounters Abra, a courageous teenager with her own powerful extrasensory gift, known as the “shine.” Instinctively recognizing that Dan shares her power, Abra has sought him out, desperate for his help against the merciless Rose the Hat and her followers, The True Knot, who feed off the shine of innocents in their quest for immortality. Forming an unlikely alliance, Dan and Abra engage in a brutal life-or-death battle with Rose. Abra’s innocence and fearless embrace of her shine compel Dan to call upon his own powers as never before — at once facing his fears and reawakening the ghosts of the past.
You’d be “irrevocably scarred,” too, if you saw this.
The only scene in the trailer that uses Kubrick’s footage is the blood pouring out of the elevator. Otherwise, it’s all brand new. “Everything else is us. Everything else is our recreation,” writer and director Mike Flanagan (who did very good work with another King story, Gerald’s Game) said. “I don’t want to spoil… what we’ve been able to revisit from Kubrick’s world, but I can say that everything that we decided to use, our intention was always to detail and reference and making sure that we were doing it properly, with the hope that even kind of the most rabid cinephiles might not be able to tell the difference.”
Doctor Sleep, which also stars Rebecca Ferguson, Bruce Greenwood, and Kyliegh Curran, opens on November 8.