Doctor Sleep Posters and Trailers

Listen to our Doctor Sleep discussion in Episode 60 on iTunes (or your favorite streaming platform)

DOCTOR SLEEP, the sequel to Stephen King’s THE SHINING, is on its way, opening in theaters November 8, 2019. We are beginning to see the marketing campaign unfold as teaser posters and trailers appear in the world. The film is directed by Mike Flanagan, the brains behind Netflix’s HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE and GERALD’S GAME, ABSENTIA and OCULUS. Flanagan nabbed Ewan McGregor to portray the adult Danny Torrance, damaged and tormented by his past and his ‘shining.’ McGregor is great at being tormented. Flanagan brings a lot of heart and emotion to his horror films and that alone sets them above many of its ilk.


The trailer leans hard into McGregor, showing him in just about every scene as he grapples with his sanity and some new ‘friends’ he has stumbled upon. It starts quietly enough with cute writing on the wall and a smiley. Most of us know already that writing on the wall can only lead to bad things…. like REDRUM. And it does with an explosion and the revelation to the audience that this is the fucking THE SHINING and Tony is in the house.

The tone is moody and grim with painstakingly recreated shots from THE SHINING sprinkled throughout. I was fooled at first thinking they were the actual scenes from the film but no, this is Flanagan going the extra mile and nailing Kubrick. The only scene used from Kubrick’s film is the infamous blood soaked elevator imagery. Scenes showing the adult Danny walking through The Overlook hotel, which has clearly seen better days, is surreal and thrilling. The trailer builds slowly and quietly, easing you into the fact that THE SHINING is being hit head on.

A distorted version of the The Mamas and the Papas, DREAM A LITTLE DREAM, is an apt choice that marries nostalgia with modern day horrors in a trailer full of these concepts. There isn’t much made of Flanagan’s name ,which is huge draw for me. But the liberal use of Kubrick and McGregor are a savvy way in for most moviegoers.

Overall, the gorgeous trailer shows great promise for this property with an A list actor, Ewan McGregor, and a horror master like Mike Flanagan at the wheel. We are going inside THE SHINING and I’m all in. A+ effort!


Doctor Sleep

It is early yet, so the only posters out in the wild right now are teaser posters meaning they lack a credit block and often are more iconic.

The first poster, designed by agency, Cold Open, is type driven — we see the infamous REDRUM writing from the original film as it appears now in the current film. This layering of past and present is an ongoing theme in the promotional materials so far. What is astounding and really cool is that the studio allowed the entire poster to be created as a mirror image meaning their logos and release dates are all reversed. Bold move and shows a confidence in the film they are promoting. Not as common as you would think.

Doctor Sleep Teaser Poster

A second teaser poster, for which there is no agency credited yet, that isn’t seen as much so probably not as official as the above type concept poster includes star, Ewan McGregor. The actor is shown in black and white profile dissipating into smoke. You might be surprised how often studios veer away from using black and white in their posters because they fear the audience will assume the film is in black and white. I know, I know.

The type is also smokey and heralding back to the visual effect seen in the trailer. Ewan McGregor is the star sell, his name huge along the top and now Flanagan gets his due with an above title credit and pedigree line in partnership with Stephen King:


It should read MASTERS OF HORROR since we are essentially selling the both of them as experts in their field. But close enough. This poster gives you all the info you would probably need to see this film except for a direct connection to THE SHINING. It would seem this poster is selling the film as a stand alone to appeal to people who may not have seen Kubrick’s film. Who are these people? But, ultimately we have McGregor, King, Flanagan, Nov 8. Done deal.

The title is a tough one since it has no real connection to the original film so the marketing is working hard to inform movie goers that this is the case. You can’t really oversell THE SHINING connection when it comes to a film like this. It is THE reason to go and it would seem, from the trailer and the ‘inside’ teaser poster that you better watch THE SHINING if you haven’t already. And if you haven’t what the hell are you waiting for?


The Many Faces of Triangle

During our podcast Episode 57 Be Careful With That Ax we discuss the many different posters and keyart that has surfaced for this film and how effective they are. Here is a sampling of posters that show different marketing angles and target audiences.

Triangle would be a challenging film to market. It uses classic horror tropes, riffing on shasher, hauntings and shipwrecks but is never that simple nor especially accurate to put it in any of those camps. To tell the potential audience more you risk giving away the many twists and surprisesthe film has in store.

The posters range from B movie slasher to classy cruise ship haunting yet none really capture the true essence of this special film. The challenge is to stand out from the pack of other horror films but not alienate that audience either.

Which poster do you think is the most effective at selling this film?


Triangle 2009 movie posters

Is It Worth $17.50?

by MarkAz


It’s pretty obvious why Marvel and other special effects extravaganza’s do well at the box office. One reason is that most Marvel films are really good - some even great. They’re exciting, funny and well shot. There’s a reason why Disney spent millions on a Lion King remake. It’s the same damned story, only with awesome CGI effects. It’s on a million big screens around the country. The days of the smaller budget non-effects movie on the big screen is slowly going away.
Yes, you can still find these movies in theaters, but their stay there is mighty short. And before you know it, they’re streaming for your 65” at home. And that don’t cost you $17.50. That is the average ticket price for an adult movie ticket here in the Greater Los Angeles area. I’m sure it’s a bit cheaper in other parts of the country and the world. But here, it cost that. And that’s too much, imho. Unless, you get to see the Scarlet Witch zipping around causing damage. Then you feel you getting your money’s worth. But why pay that for a family drama or a goofball comedy? So not worth it.

I don’t pretend to predict what Hollywood will do, but this seems to be what the big studios will do from now on. Concentrate on only the tentpole movies that might make some money. I saw US on opening night. Spent my $17.50, sat right in front of a woman who had the croup and didn’t mind letting everyone in the theater know it. Thus, I moved from my assigned seat to a seat in the front row. Yay for me. Maybe that helped hamper the film for me, because it didn’t thrill or scare me in the least. In fact, it sort of pissed me off. I walked home going - I spent $17.50 for that? Now, I was going in with super high expectations - I wanted to see what the heir apparent to Hitchcock had in store for me. And sadly, I was super disappointed. I really loved GET OUT, but this totally flamed out 40 minutes it. You could sense the air being let out of the theater as the film progressed. Everyone there wanted to love that movie - that’s what opening night audiences do. They want to love the movie. And when it misses the mark, boy can you sense it!!

I think in the future, I’ll save my $17.50 for the huge budget flick with all the eye candy. But then again, that’s not really my favorite kind of movie anyway. What Hollywood is doing to me is almost forcing me to stay home and watch stuff there. And at $12.00 a month, I’m okay with that.