Halloween might be over but horror fans still have a lot to look forward to at the movies, with Doctor Sleep, the follow-up to The Shining, set to land in theaters this weekend and, according to Deadline, could earn between $25 and $30 million at the domestic box office. While it likely won't set any records with its numbers, an R-rated horror film without an iconic movie monster securing those figures outside of October could prove the film's success. While the Stephen King adaptations IT and IT CHAPTER TWO might have broken records, Doctor Sleep offers an entirely different type of terror.
Doctor Sleep continues the story of Danny Torrance, 40 years after his terrifying stay at the Overlook Hotel in The Shining. Ewan McGregor, Rebecca Ferguson, and newcomer Kyliegh Curran star in the supernatural thriller, directed by Mike Flanagan, from his own screenplay based upon the novel by Stephen King. Still irrevocably scarred by the trauma he endured as a child at the Overlook, Dan Torrance has fought to find some semblance of peace. But that peace is shattered when he encounters Abra, a courageous teenager with her own powerful extrasensory gift, known as the “shine.” Instinctively recognizing that Dan shares her power, Abra has sought him out, desperate for his help against the merciless Rose the Hat and her followers, The True Knot, who feed off the shine of innocents in their quest for immortality. Forming an unlikely alliance, Dan and Abra engage in a brutal life-or-death battle with Rose. Abra’s innocence and fearless embrace of her shine compel Dan to call upon his own powers as never before—at once facing his fears and reawakening the ghosts of the past.
The Stanley Kubrick adaptation of The Shining is still considered by many audiences to be one of the most frightening horror films of all time, but with nearly 40 years having passed since that film's release, it might not be as much of a cultural touchstone to contemporary audiences. Advanced reviews of Doctor Sleep have been largely positive, which could help its box office, with King himself having praised its accomplishments. Making the positive reaction to the film all the more impressive is that King famously dislikes the 1980 film.
“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,” King pointed out to Entertainment Weekly. “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.”
Doctor Sleep lands in theaters Friday.
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