This is a direct follow up to the Shining.
Indeed, the opening scenes star a young Danny Torrance and his mum Wendy (with Alex Essoe playing Shelley Duvall playing Wendy Torrance). At a later point in the movie a Jack Nicholson impersonator also joins the proceedings (only it’s an uncredited, in IMDB, actor playing Nicholson playing the barman Lloyd). These could, of course, have been terrible missteps but director Mike Flanagan adeptly carries it off, just.
In fact the entire movie is a dangerous exercise in, just, getting away with it.
It neatly explains some of the mysteries of the much cherished The Shining movie, but steps away from the mostly unspoken horror of Kubrick’s classic to become a sort of Harry Potter fantasy.
So, strangely the first 20 minutes and the last thirty (both truest to the original) are the most satisfying.
In the middle lies a pretty stodgy lump of twaddle really (Flanagan both directs and edits, which contributes to the stodge) and centres on a curious interplay between Ewan MacGregor, as the whisky soaked but recovering alcoholic that Danny has turned into, another shiner, played well enough by 13 year old Kyleigh Curran (her character name Abra is a pretty clunky pun) and a radiant Rebecca Ferguson, as the arch villain and leader of gang of bad ‘shiners’,
McGregor is tolerable, not something I’d often say, playing the part understatedly.
It is what it is.
This is not even a patch on its predecessor but there are just about enough pluses to keep you involved for its challenging 210 minute run time.
A curiosity, I’d say, that committed Shining fans, like me, should on balance, go see.