Many horror fans are familiar with Stephen King’s The Shining, either from reading the book or watching the iconic film adaptation by Stanley Kubrick. But some may not realize that, in fact, there is a sequel which King wrote back in 2013 called Doctor Sleep. And, like nearly all other works by King, it’s getting its own on-screen adaptation.
Doctor Sleep follows Danny Torrance, the little boy from The Shining as an adult, working as a nurse in an old folks home when he psychically connects with Abra Stone, a young girl with the same abilities. At the same time, Abra is being pursued by a cult that sucks psychic powers from children for their consumption and killing them in the process. Ewan McGregor plays Danny, and all the Obi-Wan-force jokes aside, he seems to be a good match for the haunted and empathetic man. We also get a good look at Rebecca Ferguson as Rose the Hat, the leader of this cult.
It’s interesting that we see some visual allusions to the Kubrick film, as King hated that adaptation, but it would make sense as fans would likely be most familiar with that version. Even the music is reminiscent of that original score, which makes the blending of the two even more seamless. The fact that Danny will return to the Overlook is pretty cool, even if the rest of the film doesn’t deliver.
The film is written and directed by Mike Flanagan, who fans will be happy to hear was the mind behind the critically acclaimed The Haunting of Hill House Netflix series. As I mentioned when the film was first announced, I was worried how the trippy, dreamy visuals would be integrated, but the teaser really highlights the intensity and the mastery with which they’ve been included in the story. There are also several plot elements from the book that make it into the trailer, but I promise no spoilers.
Doctor Sleep premieres in theaters on November 8, 2019.