Stephen King Says Doctor Sleep Makes Up For His Dislike Of The Shining


Stephen King is a prolific figure. Nobody could possibly argue that. However, he’s not always exactly right, per se. Point to fact: he hates what Stanley Kubrick did with his adaptation of The Shining, which is otherwise widely regarded as an amazing movie. Now, on the heels of the sequel Doctor Sleep hitting theaters, King gave his thumbs up to the new film in a big way, while simultaneously flipping off the original.

Sitting down with Entertainment Weekly on the promo tour, King waxed positively about Mike Flanagan’s newest adaptation, saying the following:

“I read the script very, very carefully and I said to myself – Everything that I ever disliked about the Kubrick version of The Shining is redeemed for me here.“

Doctor Sleep

What exactly did King dislike about the 1980 horror classic? Well, the author claims that Kubrick has no emotional investment in the family at all, which pulls away from his ending in the book. Jack tells Danny he loves him and holds off the evil of the Overlook long enough to have his family escape. In the movie, though? Jack freezes to death and is decidedly less sympathetic. I guess that’s fair. If anyone has the right to criticize The Shining, it would be the man who wrote it, after all.

Let me pose you a real question, though: did we absolutely need a follow-up to The Shining, in either book or film format? Doctor Sleep is, generally speaking, one of King’s worst-received late-period novels to date to my knowledge. The move is currently sitting at a 59 on Metacritic after 20 reviews, too, which isn’t a great sign. We already had parts of The Shining remade in Ready Player One as well, so why did we have to do it again?

Maybe the box office will surprise us and Doctor Sleep will be a, ahem, sleeper hit, though? I guess we’ll see.