Stephen King adaptations can be hit-or-miss, but “Gerald’s Game” and “Doctor Sleep,” both directed by Flanagan, were generally well-regarded. “Gerald’s Game” came from a novel that was considered un-filmable since most of it revolves around a woman being handcuffed to a bed in a remote lake house with no other living characters around to provide dialogue or conflict (beyond, you know, the conflict of needing to extract oneself from those cuffs by whatever means necessary). Yet Flanagan was able to deliver something with his Netflix adaptation of “Gerald’s Game” that pleased both fans and King himself.
This may be why King entrusted “Doctor Sleep” to Flanagan. “Doctor Sleep” faced the daunting task of serving as a sequel to “The Shining,” both King’s 1977 novel and the 1980 Stanley Kubrick adaptation starring Jack Nicholson. Though “The Shining” is one of the greatest horror films of all time (just yesterday, we just revisited its ending), King was never a fan of Kubrick’s vision, which somewhat clashed with his own. “Doctor Sleep” made him retroactively appreciate the film more.
This week, I found myself doing the same thing with “Doctor Sleep” while randomly thinking about Rose the Hat, Rebecca Ferguson’s chilling vampire villain, who is not above shotgunning hits of children’s life energy with her True Knot pals. It made me want to rewatch the film, and I will definitely be watching “Midnight Mass” when it hits Netflix on September 24, 2021.
Here’s the official synopsis for “Midnight Mass”:
This little island, so sleepy it might be dead. The isolated community on Crockett Island experiences miraculous events – and frightening omens – following the arrival of a charismatic, mysterious young priest. An original series from Mike Flanagan come to Netflix on September 24th.