Some stories just aren’t meant to be re-opened, and many people would say The Shining is one of them. Directed by the stylistically revolutionary Stanley Kubrick, and based on the book by legendary author Stephen King – who did, in fact, write a sequel to it. And that sequel is about to hit the big screen. It’s called Doctor Sleep.
The Shining easily grew to cult classic status, so many of its worshippers were the first to know about the upcoming sequel – and share some strong opinions against this production. The meanings and ending of The Shining, which have been analyzed and interpreted to no end by extensive YouTube and Reddit channels and even a popular documentary called Room 237, makes it difficult to guess what the sequel would be about with any certainty. But King wrote it, and to the great surprise of Shining’s diehard fans, he and Kubrick both have given this sequel the thumbs-up.
But, it is important to know certain things about the first movie before proceeding to Doctor Sleep. So those who haven’t seen it need to before attempting the second, and for those of us who have, here are a few things it’s essential to refresh your memory on in preparation…
1. Jack Torrance Had a Drinking Problem
It’s brought up for just long enough to make its point, but Jack was recovering from a drinking problem, which had led him to violent behavior. During his recuperation, he was offered a job watching over a vacant hotel on the off-season and decided to take it on and bring his family, in order to keep working on his book.
2. The Overlook
The Overlook hotel that would be their destination for the summer had a scary history of its own. Its groundskeeper explains that the previous summer caretaker, Delbert Grady, was driven mad in the isolation and killed his family. Not a great sign.
For reasons the movie doesn’t explain, Jack’s young son Danny has a psychic power, shared by the hotel’s head chef and manager, Dick Hallorann. It allows them to telepathically see and hear things, so they can communicate without speaking. Dick senses Danny’s power and demonstrates their shared ability to him – then he tells him to get in touch with him if there are any problems around the hotel.
Danny doesn’t forget. There are certainly many problems, but Danny and his mom drive away to their hopefully happy ending. So…wonder what comes next? Better go see what all the fuss is about.