So…this is a sequel to The Shining.
…yes, really. Now, interestingly enough, there’s some more meat to this than you’re thinking, especially if your first introduction to this concept is from the trailer, and the title isn’t ringing any bells. No, this isn’t technically coming out of nowhere. It is, in fact, an adaptation of a Stephen King novel, one that was actually a sequel to the original The Shining novel. But…it is also a sequel to the Stanley Kubrick film. The trailer is replete with imagery from said film, and the director, Mike Flanagan, has stated that it’s in the same universe as said film, and that he’s going to do his best to reconcile the differences between book and film.
I…am not sure how that’s going to work out, the two are pretty different once you get past the basic premise, but in the wide world of horror directors Mike Flanagan would probably be my fourth pick to try to pull this off (which is pretty good considering the competition in the genre). And Ewan McGregor is playing the grown-up Danny, so there’s at least some good talent in front of the camera too.
What exactly is the plot here? Well, it’s not super clear going just off the trailer, but the basic premise is that Danny must befriend a young girl who has powers similar to his own. There also appears to be a group (cult?) of people traveling around killing children, though it’s not clear why. I mean, it could be that the children have powers, but it could not be, it’s not said in the trailer and given that this thing is a sequel to a great movie but terrible adaptation I don’t think I can safely read a synopsis of the novel it shares a name with to get a handle on the plot. There’s also this thing going on with Danny’s wall, and writing appearing on it, but I’m not certain who is writing on it or why they’re doing so except to allow us to see the familiar ‘REDRUM’ phrase reflected in Danny’s mirror.
All I truly know is the film’s tagline ‘The world will shine again’. And that’s all well and good, but given the amazing shadow the film it’s following up casts, can Doctor Sleep shine? I’m optimistic, it’s a good trailer, a good director, and a good lead, but we’ll have to wait and see.