Film fanatic Gary DeWaard has helped online readers learn about new and upcoming theatrical releases for years, and provides insightful reviews of films to help them determine which are worth spending their money on. Here, he reviews the anticipated sequel to Stanley Kubrick’s monumental 1980 film The Shining, the Stephen King penned Doctor Sleep
Since taking on work as a film critic, Gary DeWaard has helped thousands of online readers learn about new and upcoming theatrical releases to determine which are worth audiences’ time and money. While he has a passion for all film, he’s especially drawn to the horror genre, which is seeing a large resurgence in popularity in the last few years.
Recently, Gary DeWaard was invited to a prescreening of Mike Flanagan’s film Doctor Sleep, the highly-anticipated sequel to Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining that was released nearly forty years ago.
“Something I can say for certain is that fans of the previous film and of any of Stephen King’s stories will not be disappointed with Flanagan’s movie,” says Gary DeWaard. “It packs in plenty of Easter eggs from The Shining while spinning a new and entirely unique tale that chills to the bone.”
Doctor Sleep was penned by Stephen King and published in 2013 to much praise. Gary DeWaard tells us that Warner Bros. Pictures began to develop a film adaptation of the book shortly after it was published, some sources saying even as early as 2014. In 2016, writer-producer Akiva Goldsman announced that he would write and produce the film for Warner Bros., but things began to fall through when the company couldn’t settle on an initial budget to produce the film. For years, they debated on the price tag of Doctor Sleep and a planned prequel to The Shining called Overlook Hotel (which fell through in the end).
“Things started to turn around in the film’s favor after the landmark success of the latest adaptation of Stephen King’s novel It,” Gary DeWaard tells us. “The movie performed phenomenally at the box office, which inevitably put Doctor Sleep on a production fast track.”
Warner Bros. then hired director Mike Flanagan in January 2018 to rewrite the script that had been created and eventually direct the film. Flanagan told news agencies that he was interested in directing Doctor Sleep because “it touches on themes that are the most attractive to me, which are childhood trauma leading into adulthood, addiction, the breakdown of a family, and the after effects, decades later.”
Gary DeWaard names Doctor Sleep as his favorite King adaptation since Kubrick’s work on the prequel.
“The movie is a must-see for horror fans, as it takes audiences not only back to the Overlook Hotel in all its glory, but also resurrects some of the scariest elements of Kubrick’s film,” says Gary DeWaard. “The story is twisted and never feels boring or too stuffed with drama and emotion, something many films can’t get away from these days. It’s full of talented performances and incredible graphics without seeming too cheesy or over-the-top like some other Stephen King movies. All in all, I believe it’s bound to be another box office win for Warner Bros., and a powerful new entry into the horror genre that spooks as much as it surprises.”
Doctor Sleep hit theaters November 7th.