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How 'Doctor Sleep' earned Stephen King's endorsement and still honored Stanley Kubrick

Sonaiya Kelley, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

Flanagan was introduced to King's work at the tender age of 10 when he stumbled across a copy of "It."

"I was way too young," he said. "I didn't realize what I had gotten myself into."

Still he powered through it, determined to find out the fate of the Losers club.

"It was this huge accomplishment in my young life, making it to the end of that book," he said. "I had a hard time sleeping for a long time after, but I thought, 'Well, this book kind of taught me how to be brave in these tiny little bursts. Let me keep looking for that feeling.'"

The director, whose film credits include 2013's "Oculus" and 2016's "Ouija: Origin of Evil," in addition to every episode of Netflix's "The Haunting of Hill House," cites King as his biggest influence.

"What I love about what he does is that even his most fantastical ideas are born out of things that are actually very relatable," Flanagan said. "'The Shining' works as a great scary story about a ghost in the bathtub, but it works even better as an exploration of the anxiety that 1/8Jack3/8 felt about how his alcoholism destroyed his family."

"Horror is fun," he added. "It's a great way for us to safely explore dark ideas; it's a wonderful way for us to practice being brave but more than anything, it only really means something if it's dealing with some emotional truth. Something that we can all relate to about the darker or brighter side of our nature."

 

"I think genre is best used when it's a lens for human drama," Macy said. "The classic idea about a horror movie is you take someone in a life transition and use a supernatural force as proxy for something that would be stressful or transformative in a person's life. 'The Shining' is the pinnacle of that as an example."

While he has a second season of "The Haunting" anthology on tap for Netflix (this time called "The Haunting of Bly Manor" and inspired by Henry James' "The Turn of the Screw"), Flanagan is ready to tackle another King adaptation. "I've been talking with him since this was finished about picking what's next," he said. "We're still deciding what will be the next one, but I hope there will be a next one because I can't stop. I hope it's easier, though."

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