First Glance: “Doctor Sleep”


“The Shining” still stands as one of Stanley Kubrick’s most beloved and celebrated films. It was based on but took several liberties with Stephen King’s 1977 best-selling novel. In 2013 King published “Doctor Sleep”, another best-seller and a sequel to “The Shining”. Warner Brothers instantly began putting together a film adaptation but it never came together until now.

Horror filmmaker Mike Flanagan frames his movie as a direct sequel to Kubrick’s “The Shining” and an adaptation of King’s “Doctor Sleep”. King wasn’t keen on much of Kubrick’s creative license and Flanagan sets out to bridge the gaps between the books and the movies. Ewan McGregor plays Dan Torrence, the little boy on the Big Wheel in the 1980 film, now all grown up. He still possesses psychic powers and is still scarred from the horrific events at the Overlook Hotel years earlier.

The new trailer shows Flanagan tapping into some familiar imagery from Kubrick’s film while also adding some new pieces to the mythology. As Dan looks for some semblance of emotional peace, he meets a young girl (Kyliegh Curran) who may possess the same powers he does. We also see Rebecca Ferguson (who I’ll watch in anything) as a creepy cult leader with a pretty unsettling appetite. But how will it all play out? Is it a worthwhile sequel and will it survive the scrutiny of die-hard fans of “The Shining”?

“Doctor Sleep” lands in theaters ‘globally’ October 30th and (for some weird reason) November 8th in North America. Check out the trailer below and let me know if you’ll be seeing it or taking a pass.

22 thoughts on “First Glance: “Doctor Sleep”

  1. I was a huge King fan back in the day . Read a everything he did till about late 80s and he kinda lost me . But a few more recent books are quite good. This one being one. I loved The Shining, the book, but although I appreciate the Kubrick film more now, Im still not happy with Kubricks changes.He often puts too much of himself in a movie and I think he did that in The Shining.Its one thing to add to a story, quite another to go beyond the source material and change too much. Having said that, I do look with interest if this movie with find a way to bridge that movie/original book with this new story of Danny’s life. I’m hopeful. The trailer has me going in with good vibes.

    • I’m really looking forward to this. I know some will call this heresy, but I’ve always been mixed on Kubrick. I like several of his films (especially his early stuff), but he has never been a favorite of mine.

      • I’m with you on Kubrick. His movies do not exactly say “fun”. I did like The Shining and 2001, Spartacus (which I think Kubrick almost disowned), the rest not so much.

      • I too like The Shining and 2001 though certainly not as much as many. Same with Full Metal Jacket. My favorites of his are The Killing, Paths of Glory, and Dr. Strangelove.

  2. I had forgotten they were doing this until I saw the trailer with Ready or Not. It was pretty creepy, I’ll definitely give it a go.

  3. Having read both books, with King doing a rare sequel, this is one of my most anticipated. Loved what he did with the child character, now an adult, in this storyline that used the original novel as a thoughtful counterpoint to one of his (and Kubrick’s) most famous works. Potentially great casting.

  4. As an ardent fan of Kubrick, I’m a little skeptical of Doctor Sleep, especially since Flanagan seems to be relying heavily on Kubrick’s adaptation of The Shining. I was not too impressed with Flanagan’s take on The Haunting of Hill House, which removes the psychological terror and suspense of Shirley Jackson’s writing, though I do think he does get very good performances out of actors.

    I did read that Flanagan got approval from both the Kubrick estate and King to make the movie, which does quell some of my uneasiness. I suspect though it’d be like 2010: The Year We Make Contact, a good movie on its own, but nowhere near as meaningful as Kubrick’s original.

  5. I am really excited for this! so far I liked all of Flanagan’s projects so hopefully this will be good and finally something worth of Rebecca’s talents

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