Movie Reviews

Sam Raimi Should Ignore Doctor Sleep & Reboot The Shining

Sam Raimi should ignore Doctor Sleep and follow his desire to reboot The Shining. Veteran director Sam Raimi is no stranger to horror, making his directorial debut in 1981 with the cult classic The Evil Dead. While he did take a break from horror in the 90s to explore various genres, such as the western The Quick and the Dead, Raimi has since returned to the genre with 2009’s Drag Me to Hell and, most recently, the MCU’s first horror film in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Doctor Strange 2 acts as the most recent proof that Raimi can still deliver with a big budget and high expectations – a talent that would lend itself well to any potential The Shining reboot.

Sam Raimi has expressed interest in directing more Stephen King adaptations, but there already exists a film adaptation of one of his favorite King stories. Mike Flanagan’s Doctor Sleep serves as both a sequel to Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining and an adaptation of Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep novel. And while Flanagan’s Doctor Sleep is primarily a sequel, the movie tackles a wide range of themes that, while sincere, ensure Doctor Sleep loses much of The Shining‘s pure elemental terror.

Related: The Shining Ending Explained: Why Jack Is In The Photo

As a result, Doctor Sleep’s mixed critical reception means that another reboot of The Shining likely won’t cause an uproar – and ensures Raimi can use Flanagan’s failure to adapt a classic Stephen King story with fresh eyes. With the success of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Sam Raimi proves he can hold onto his unique vision while further enhancing popular characters. Raimi’s popularity is back at an all-time high, which means it is the perfect time for him to tackle the cultural giant that is The Shining and get his ultimate King adaptation wish.

There is a thin line between homage and copying another filmmaker’s vision. While the first two acts of Doctor Sleep work as a successful sequel, the film’s originality takes a detour in the third act, where Mike Flanagan makes the mistake of paying homage to Kubrick in a series of shot-for-shot sequences rather than making Doctor Sleep its own beast. With this in mind, it is clear any potential The Shining remake must resist the temptation to copy the celebrated original. Someone like Raimi may take inspiration from Kubrick’s classic, but ultimately he will stick to his own vision as proven by Doctor Strange 2.

Besides honoring the beloved 1980 film, Raimi’s hypothetical The Shining reboot also must satisfy fans of King’s original novel – and even Stephen King himself hates Kubrick’s adaptation of his book. In Stephen King’s The Shining miniseries, King attempts to adapt his novel more to his liking, which funnily enough includes a small cameo from Sam Raimi as a gas station attendee. While receiving positive reviews upon release, The Shining miniseries is usually compared less than favorably to Kubrick’s adaptation. In this way, the history of both the novel and Kubrick’s film makes an adaptation seem particularly daunting to the average filmmaker. However, Raimi has proven time and again across his forty-year success career that he is the perfect candidate for the job – and with Raimi’s stock currently at an all-time high, few would begrudge him if he ignored Doctor Sleep and decided to reboot The Shining once again.

Next: Doctor Sleep: How & Why Danny’s Death Ruined His Ending

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