The following story contains spoilers for Mike Flanagan’s Doctor Sleep, the sequel to The Shining that you really should have seen by now. It’s available on DVD and Blu-ray, and can be streamed on HBO.
Ask anyone who has seen Doctor Sleep, and they will tell you that the film’s most disturbing scene has to be the murder of Baseball Boy, a character played by Room and Good Boys star Jacob Tremblay. It’s a tough scene in Stephen King’s source novel, the turning point that shows just how powerful the True Knot is (or can be). And as difficult as it was to film the sequence, Doctor Sleep director Mike Flanagan tells us that EDITING it over and over, four hours and days on end, was pure torture.
Mike Flanagan was a guest on CinemaBlend’s ReelBlend podcast in order to dive deeper into Doctor Sleep, a movie that is winning over audiences now that it’s on disc and cable streaming. Naturally, we dove deeper into the filming of the Baseball Boy scene, and we will have several in-depth stories in a feature coming to the site soon. But we had to pull out this chestnut on how Katrina and the Waves’ one-hit wonder “Walking on Sunshine” saved Flanagan while he was editing the harrowing scene. Flanagan told us:
See, you think that a scene is difficult to watch in a horror movie. You almost forget that people had to FILM that scene, and then the director and his team have to endure editing the sequence, which can take days. Naturally, adding a song like “Walking on Sunshine” to the scene would destroy the harrowing tone that Doctor Sleep was establishing (but for real, can someone add the song to the scene for me… I want to see how it plays). But the catchy beat saved Flanagan during his edits.
Still, he argues that the scene is essential, and he isn’t wrong. Flanagan told ReelBlend:
We have so much more from Mike Flanagan coming to the site in the coming days, including the full bonus ReelBlend episode. Make sure to keep your eyes on CinemaBlend for that content. And check out Doctor Sleep on HBO if you haven’t yet. The director’s cut of the film is a masterpiece.
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.