The Shining is considered to be one of the great horror movies of all time. While I’m not a huge fan of it personally, I appreciate Kubrick’s stellar directorial efforts. The Shinning is a wonderfully shot, atmospheric piece of cinema that birthed some of the most iconic horror images. Interestingly enough, Stephen King, the author of the book in which Kubrick’s film is based on, famously hates the film to pieces. It’s easy to see why. After all, Kubrick did ignore and change plenty of key details from the novel when he translated it to the big screen, including the way in which the protagonist Jack Torrance dies.
However, the prolific author claims that all of the issues he had with the film has since been reduced with Mike Flanagan’s adaptation of his sequel novel, Doctor Sleep. With Doctor Sleep, Flanagan (Gerald’s Game, The Haunting of Hill House) had the daunting task of making a sequel based on Stephen King’s book, while also continuing the tale of Stanley Kubrick’s movie. And according to King, the directed succeeded with flying colours. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, King had this to say:
I read the script to this one very, very carefully. Because obviously I wanted to do a good job with the sequel, because people knew the book The Shining, and I thought, I don’t want to screw this up. Mike Flanagan, I’ve enjoyed all his movies, and I’ve worked with him before on Gerald’s Game. So, I read the script very, very carefully and I said to myself, ‘Everything that I ever disliked about the Kubrick version of The Shining is redeemed for me here.’
I don’t want to get into a big argument about how great the Shining film is that Kubrick did or my feelings about it. All I can say is, Mike took my material, he created a terrific story, people who have seen this movie flip for it, and I flipped for it, too. Because he managed to take my novel of Doctor Sleep, the sequel, and somehow weld it seamlessly to the Kubrick version of The Shining, the movie. So, yeah, I liked it a lot.
Having seen Doctor Sleep (review will be out tomorrow), I can see why King loves the movie. Flanagan really does go out of his way to “course correct” a lot of the changes Kubrick made, while also honouring his work. However, a part of me does wish that Flanagan would have completely ignored the Stanley Kubrick movie and the Overlook Hotel and just focused on making a tighter Doctor Sleep film.
Doctor Sleep is currently playing in Malaysian cinemas.