starring Ewan McGregor, Rebecca Ferguson, Kyliegh Curran, Cliff Curtis
screenplay by Mike Flanagan, based on the novel by Stephen King
directed by Mike Flanagan
by Walter Chaw Like the book upon which it's based, Mike Flanagan's Doctor Sleep is in constant tension with its legendary progenitors. It's not unlike Harper Lee's Go Set a Watchman in that sense: if a film version were ever attempted, it would likewise be dealing with not only the legacy of one of the most revered novels of all time (and I would hazard that The Shining isn't just popular, but great), but one of the most revered film adaptations, too. Just as it's impossible to read Lee's sequel without picturing Gregory Peck as Atticus and Mary Badham as Scout, it's impossible to read Stephen King's Doctor Sleep without imagining entire scenes from Kubrick's The Shining overlaying the text like the memories haunting that film's Overlook Hotel. How, for example, will Flanagan handle the death of beloved Overlook chef and Danny's mentor in extra-sensory perception, Dick Hallorann? In the book, Dick lives. In the film, where he's played iconically by the inimitable Scatman Crothers, he most assuredly does not. Go the one way and piss off King, who's held a grudge against Kubrick and The Shining for decades now; go the other and you're pissing off virtually everyone else by pretending an all-time classic picture never existed.