Make some popcorn, shut out the lights and get ready to clutch someone you love while you watch this week’s New to Home Theaters feature, “Doctor Sleep,” the next chapter in Stephen King’s “The Shining” story.
In the sequel to the 1980 psychological horror flick, which was based on King’s bestselling novel from 1977, an adult Danny Torrance, struggling with alcoholism, stemming from the memories of the sinister events surrounding his childhood at the Overlook Hotel, befriends a young courageous girl with similar psychic powers as himself. The two join forces to take out the True Knot, an evil cult that exploits children with supernatural powers in a quest for immortality, according to the production company.
The film, based on a 2013 novel of the same name, written by King as the next installment of “The Shining,” features Ewan McGregor as the adult Danny.
Danny Lloyd, who played the child version of Danny, in the 1980 film, makes a cameo in the film as a spectator at a baseball game in the movie. Although retired from acting for nearly 40 years, Lloyd was excited to be asked to do the cameo. When questioned about why the same offer wasn’t made to Jack Nicholson, who played Jack in the original film, filmmakers said while he was supportive of the sequel, they understood his reasons for wanting to stay retired.
Kyliegh was tapped to play Abra Stone, the teenage girl with the “shine.” Other cast members include: Rebecca Ferguson (Rose the Hat), Cliff Curtis (Billy Freeman), Carl Lumbly (Dick Hallorhan), Zahn McClarnon (Crow Daddy) and Emily Alyn Lind (Snakebite Andi).
The critics were kind to the film, giving it a 77 percent on Rotten Tomatoes’ Tomatometer.
“Doctor Sleep” feels like the logical continuation to Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of ‘The Shining’,” wrote Mathew Rozsa of Salon.com.
However, not every critic took a shine to the film.
“Whichever route you prefer to take to the Overlook Hotel, there are better directions available than those prescribed by Doctor Sleep,” wrote Barry Hertz of the Globe and Mail.
The audience score was even more enthusiastic at 89 percent.
“Thrilling, disturbing, and overall satisfying, Doctor Sleep is a faithful adaption of Stephen King’s novel with just enough Kubrick to please movie nerds (like myself),” one audience reviewer shared.
Directed by Mike Flanagan, the film is rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America for disturbing images, drug use/content, language, nudity and violence.
Other films releasing to home theaters this week include:
n “Last Christmas,” directed by Paul Feig and starring Madison Ingoldsby, Henry Golding, Emilia Clarke, and Emma Thompson, who also was a writer/producer on the film, it’s the perfect heartwarming story to share with your sweetheart over Valentine’s Day. The film tells the story of a dysfunctional young woman working as Santa’s elf at a year-round Christmas store in London, who finds her life taking an unexpectedly optimistic turn after becoming romantically entangled with a handsome and mysterious stranger over the holiday season.
The film is rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America for language and sexual situations.
n “The Good Liar,” stars Ian McKellan, as Roy Courtnay, a con artist and a good one at that, until he crosses paths with wealthy widow Betty McLeish, played by Helen Mirren. At first, Roy thinks of Betty as an “easy job,” but as Roy gets more involved in Betty’s life, his feelings for her start to run deeper and lead to a very complicated moment in his life.
Directed by Bill Condon, the film is rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America for brief nudity, language and violence.
The synopsis for each of these films came from redbox.com.