Almost 40 years since the release of Stanley Kubrick’s horror classic The Shining, director Mike Flanagan delivers a confident sequel that’s equally as spine-chilling.
It’s fair to say that Flanagan isn’t a stranger to the horror genre, he’s directed many projects in the past such as Hush, (2016) Oculus, (2013) and more recently the extremely popular Netflix horror series The Haunting of Hill House, (2018).
Now Flanagan takes on the task of adapting Stephen King’s 2013 novel Doctor Sleep, the follow up to his 1977 horror classic The Shining.
The film follows the original ‘shiner’ from the first chapter of the tale Danny Torrance (Ewan McGregor) dealing not only with his adapted powers but also his drinking problem and his psychologically traumatic past.
He comes into contact with a powerful young girl, Abra Stone, who telepathically shares a similar level of ability to himself.
However, a group of dark individuals led by Rose the Hat (Rebecca Ferguson) who feed on the souls of those who ‘shine’ are keen to get to her before Danny can.
Flanagan does an excellent job of adapting King’s novel, not only creating a gripping horror but also the use of great cinematography makes it feel more of a psychological thriller which only complements the style of the film.
“This move is a good thing, you’ll like this if you like the shining.”
Stephen King, Author
Flanagan manages to take what’s written on paper by King and creates an incredible story full of immersive scenery and jaw-dropping special effects.
In a Tweet by the author, he praises Flanagan’s adaptation, saying: “Flanagan is a talented director, but he’s also an excellent storyteller. The movie is a good thing, you’ll like this if you liked The Shining.”
Ewan McGregor as a grown-up Danny Torrance is unbelievable in the film, alongside young actress Kyliegh Curran who plays the young ‘shiner’ Abra Stone, the pair really have great chemistry.
The villain in the movie, Rose the Hat, shows great talent in the role and all the characters share captivating screen time that makes the film even more gripping.
One criticism of the film may be its running time.
There are scenes in which you feel could’ve been sacrificed to chop down the two and a half-hour film to make it have better pace.
No one can deny that Kubrick created an absolute classic in his adaptation of King’s The Shining in 1980, but at the time Kubrick and King had their differences in what they envisioned for the adaptation of the novel.
In Flanagan’s adaption, it’s clear he’s stuck more to the conventions of the novel with respect to King, whilst simultaneously paying homage to one of the greatest horror films in cinema history.