When fans first heard there was going to be a sequel to Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of The Shining, it’s fair to say that a lot of people were very skeptical. Sure, it was based on King’s own follow up novel Doctor Sleep. But the 1980 Kubrick film is considered by many to be one of the greatest and most terrifying horror films ever made. Well, considered great by everyone but Stephen King himself — but that’s a whole other can of worms.
Could Doctor Sleep’s director Mike Flanagan be the one to please both fans of the book and the Kubrick film? According to early social media reactions….it most certainly seems like he has. With the social media embargo now lifted, early viewers now have a chance to reveal just what they though of maybe the most anticipated horror movie of the year. And so far, everyone seems to be pretty pleased!
Our very own Kyle Anderson claims that Rebecca Ferguson has joined the pantheon of great horror icons. I predict a lot Rose cosplay at conventions in the very near future.
#DoctorSleep somehow does justice to both King and Kubrick while perfectly fitting into Flanagan’s already impressive, somber-creepy catalog. It runs on the heart of its characters and their plight. And Rebecca Ferguson’s Rose the Hat is poised to be a new horror icon. pic.twitter.com/aq3jcgupwc
— Dyle M for Murderson (@FunctionalNerd) October 25, 2019
Best King adaptation since Shawshank? Ok, that’s a big Whoa. High praise indeed.
Doctor Sleep is the best Stephen King adaption since Shawshank Redemption. Mike Flanagan has perfectly combined nostalgia with tension, mystery, and suspense. The entire cast is superb. There are a number of surprises that will make King fans squeal with delight. #DoctorSleep pic.twitter.com/PhSDm6EZsZ
— Scott Menzel (@TheOtherScottM) October 25, 2019
Fans of #TheShining are really gonna love #DoctorSleep. It’s at its best when its fueled by follow-up. Starts slowly and descends into madness, just like its predecessor. One specific scene is really horrifying, some solid scares, and good performances across the board. pic.twitter.com/NnHcq1ia8Q
— Brandon Davis (@BrandonDavisBD) October 25, 2019
It seems the recreation of scenes from Kubrick’s film are pretty spot on, although the trailers already gave that part away.
Doctor Sleep is a well crafted, very creepy and often scary thriller that cleverly recreates moments and sets from The Shining. The cast is great, especially young Kyliegh Curran. Definitely a big thumbs up for the film from me. pic.twitter.com/EJvuMaMPTc
#DoctorSleep is an IMMENSELY satisfying and PERFECTLY adapts the tone of Kings book. An adult psycho-drama with an abundance of emotionally satisfying and crowd pleasing thrills, watch on the biggest screen and as many times humanly possible!
— Christophe Aguilar de Travestão (2018-2018) (@ItsChrisAguilar) October 25, 2019
Horror director (and Doctor Strange helmer) Scott Derickson also had some pretty high praise.
Last night I saw and loved DOCTOR SLEEP. A truly spellbinding story — scary, shockingly transgressive in places, wildly unpredictable, and dense with highly satisfying ties to the original SHINING film. @flanaganfilm avoids imitation of Kubrick; instead he channels @stephenking.
— N O S ⋊ Ɔ I ᴚ ᴚ Ǝ ᗡ ⊥ ⊥ O Ɔ S (@scottderrickson) October 22, 2019
I watched #DoctorSleep on Monday. I was completely floored by how @flanaganfilm was able to tie the book to The Shining universe that already exists on screen. Fans will be surprised by this movie — in a good way. So many little details that will make Constant Readers giddy! pic.twitter.com/N4Vw9QudQa
— John SaaV’Ger 🇨🇴 (@johnsjr9) October 25, 2019
More love for Ferguson, but also Ewan McGregor as the adult Danny Torrance.
#DoctorSleepMovie: A hallucinogenic horrorscape, @flanaganfilm channels King’s waking nightmares & familial trauma artfully. Crafts visceral, disquieting dread not too dissimilar to Kubrick’s masterpiece. McGregor & Ferguson give perfectly pitched performances.@DoctorSleepFilm pic.twitter.com/IF6YJhDBTz
— Courtney Howard (@Lulamaybelle) October 25, 2019
With so many Stephen King adaptations lately, it would seem like Doctor Sleep might get lost in the shuffle. Instead, it seems to rise to the top.
It’s been a great yr for Stephen King adaptations but I think #DoctorSleep is the best of the bunch. Thrilled me in ways I wasn’t expecting, made me emotional at times & Rebecca Ferguson is ferocious. What a wonderful celebration of Kubrick, King & @flanaganfilm’s career as well. pic.twitter.com/jQ8ktEeUVE
— Heatherface Wixson (@thehorrorchick) October 25, 2019
#DoctorSleep is The Shining sequel King fans have been waiting for. Kyliegh Curran is a star in the making & Rebecca Ferguson is downright terrifying. Flanagan beautifully meshes Danny Torrance’s haunting past w/ the now present, resulting in the best King adaptation of the year pic.twitter.com/g3iEOt7iyG
— Samhain 🎃🍭 (@shannon_mcgrew) October 25, 2019
I will note that there are substantial differences between the #DoctorSleep book and the film, but I think the changes that were made in the script to accommodate the story make absolute sense and will make it easier for the audience to digest what plays out onscreen.
— Scare-a Musn-icky 👻 (@sarahmusnicky) October 25, 2019
At least one early viewer seems the movie lacks enough memorable scares, but still enjoys it overall.
Doctor Sleep will likely give The Shining fans everything they’d want from a sequel (and some things they probably didn’t). #RebeccaFerguson is wonderful and it all looks utterly gorgeous, but it’s not perfect and needs more memorable scares. #DoctorSleepMovie pic.twitter.com/M2jomtq8eE
— Digital Spy (@digitalspy) October 25, 2019
All of this is enough to squash one’s cynicism and start booking their rooms at the Overlook Hotel. It seems our new master of horror is Mike Flanagan. Now, where do we sign up for his decades later follow up to Salem’s Lot?
Images: Warner Brothers