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Mike Flanagan's Doctor Sleepis a fantastic film end-to-end, but there is most definitely one particular scene that stands out in the memories of all who watch it: the death of the Baseball Boy. Movie fans have developed an affection Jacob Tremblay ever since his his brilliant performance in Lenny Abrahamson's Room, and watching him get torn apart in the Stephen King adaptation is effectively horrifying. What only makes it more memorable is the behind-the-scenes knowledge that the young actor filmed the sequence on his birthday – and now we have this remarkable photo to celebrate the anniversary:
Jacob Tremblay turns 14 today, but when he was turning 12 back in 2018 the celebration was held on the set of Doctor Sleep as he filmed what is unquestionably the most gruesome scene of his career thus far. Knowing this since the film came out last year, it's been fun to think about what Tremblay's day was like, but now we have this brilliant behind-the-scenes shot that seems to capture the energy perfectly.
You have to love that the Good Boys star is practically beaming in this photo, shooting a thumbs up to the camera, and meanwhile Rebecca Ferguson seems to be in full Rose The Hat mode, grabbing a tuft of his hair and holding a prop knife – and of course the whole shot is bathed in fake blood. It's wild to think that minutes before and/or after this captured moment Tramblay was lying on a patch of dirt screaming and crying in pain while a group of fellow actors pretended to carve him open and inhale psychic gifts in steam form.
It's funny to think about this in contrast to the experience that actor Danny Lloyd a.k.a. the original Danny Torrence had on the set of The Shining, as the five-year-old actor wasn't even made aware that he was making a horror movie. Obviously Jacob Tremblay is much older, but it was probably also a comfort that he had prior experience working with Mike Flanagan, as they previously made 2016's Before I Wake together.
To get even more background on the most traumatizing scene in Doctor Sleep, I recommend clicking play on the video below, which features clips from my interviews with Mike Flanagan and Rebecca Ferguson discussing the experience filming the death of the Baseball Boy:
With Halloween now just a few weeks away, now is the perfect time of year to start binging horror movies – and if you haven't seen Doctor Sleep, or at least haven't seen it since theaters, you are doing yourself a disservice! The Shining sequel is available to stream on HBO Max (and that includes the superior Director's Cut that is about 30 minutes longer), and those who aren't subscribers can also purchase/rent the film digitally, and find it on 4K, Blu-ray, and DVD.