Doctor Sleep trailer: Ewan McGregor is Danny Torrance in the sequel to The Shining

Doctor Sleep (2019)
Dir: Mike Flanagan | Cast: Bruce Greenwood, Ewan McGregor, Jacob Tremblay, Rebecca Ferguson | Writers: Mike Flanagan, Stephen King (based on the novel by)

How do you make a sequel to a horror masterpiece? The answer usually is it's best not to. Especially one that is so deeply embedded into the landscape of modern day film culture. Just take a look back at any of the films that followed The Exorcist, Jaws, Psycho, The Omen and Halloween (ok, Aliens and Dawn of the Dead may be the exception, but you get what we're saying). Doctor Sleep is an attempt to follow up on what is not only considered one of the best horror films ever made, but also one of the best films ever made.

Of course, the cinematic version of The Shining wasn't particularly well received on release and Stephen King certainly wasn't a fan. But it's a brave director (Mike Flanagan) and actor (Ewan McGregor) that attempts to fill those shoes. The film is based on King's 2013 book of the same name, which picked up strong reviews and reached the top of the The New York Times Best Seller list. There will be some who will have no interest in seeing this at all, and others curious to see if how it compares (and there will be no escaping the comparisons). Looking at Flanagan's work to date, it doesn't bode well, but we're always happy to be proved wrong. Although judging by the trailer, it doesn't look like we will be. Watch the first trailer for Doctor Sleep above to get a first look.

Still irrevocably scarred by the trauma he endured as a child at the Overlook Hotel, 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 recognising 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.

Flanagan (Oculus, Gerald's Game) has also helped to adapt the script, with Rebecca Ferguson, Kyliegh Curran, Zahn McClarnon, Emily Alyn Lind, Jacob Tremblay, Bruce Greenwood and Carl Lumbly as Dick Hallorann (originally played by Scatman Crothers in 1980) all featuring in support of McGregor.

Doctor Sleep opens in UK cinemas on October 31 and in the US on November 8.

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