Dir: Mike Flanagan
Starring Ewan McGregor, Rebecca Ferguson, Kyliegh Crran, Jacob Tremblay, Bruce Greenwood
Stephen King’s much delayed sequel to The Shining finally arrives on screen. And the good news is King himself has finally embraced Kubrick’s vision of his book (the author notoriously derided the film) and – the film itself is a very worthy King adaptation. The bad news is – at 2 and a half hours – it’s almost as long as one of King’s masterworks so meanders at time.
But overall it’s an effective scary story that is – beat for beat – arguably better that the last two Its that it will inevitably find itself riding the coattails of.
Ewan shines (we had to go there!) as the decades older Danny Torrence, former occupant of the Overlook Hotel. Later in life, he chooses to ignore his gifts and look after the elderly and infirm. But they wouldn’t let it go!
A thoroughly charismatic Rebecca Ferguson - and her equally satanic cohorts - lure him into fighting for the soul of a young girl, with the unsubtle name of Abra (Curran) who shares Danny’s own abilities.
What unfolds is a very decent, and sometimes brutal, horror tale that is detailed in character and full of solid performances. McGregor is as good as he was in Fargo (which is saying a lot) and Ferguson provides a wonderful foil, constantly re-evaluating her position. And her millenery choices.
Despite the lengthy running time, Flanagan keeps the action taut and telling, and makes it – at times – genuinely scary. Much like the book – not the best King. But not a bad one. Stranger Things have happened.