The cinema renaissance for Stephen King adaptations continues apace with this solidly crafted sequel to The Shining. Though widely regarded as one of the all-time great horror movies, King famously despised Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 treatment of his novel, but he has fully endorsed this one – though whether he’s just a bit more savvy to the needs of good marketing these days is open to question.

Fortunately, it doesn’t look like he’s just being diplomatic, even as we open here with the booming Shining score that lets us know we’re very much in that world and that the earlier film is not going to be danced around. Though the year is still 1980, we start in Florida where a young girl falls victim to the malevolent Rose the Hat (Ferguson).

Then to the scene of the original terror, the Overlook Hotel high in the mountains of Colorado where we’re reminded of the evil that lurks in Room 237. Young Danny Torrance is still not over the events that took place there as we jump to the present day where Danny (played as an adult by McGregor) is a bit of a bum, roaming around various states and starting to be haunted by his past again.

He takes an orderly job at a hospice where he uses his shining skills to soothe the dying in their final moments, a trait which his earns him the moniker of Doctor Sleep. Meanwhile Rose is recruiting people with psychic powers, including a young girl with mind control abilities. A nicely crafted screenplay takes its time flitting between these storylines and setting up the conflicts to follow, demonstrating the benefits of a two and a half hour running time which only very occasionally feels its weight. It’s a typically engaging King yarn, a horror not so concerned with providing boo-style frights as a sense of creeping menace for its hugely watchable characters.

Director Mike Flanagan wisely doesn’t try to emulate the chilly precision of Kubrick, instead evoking the first film through a sense of time and place. It’s about how darkness can consume goodness, but for all Doctor Sleep’s fantastical leanings, there are real stakes of good versus evil here, and they are up against some very bad people.

McGregor is surprisingly well cast, full of empathy in his hospice scenes and convincing as a reluctant hero. Ferguson is magnetic, highly suited to playing a villain, with the terrifying Rose leading a group who hold off the ageing process by feeding on the souls of those who can shine. This brings her into contact with a young girl, the very powerful Abra (Curran), and as Danny connects with her in the fight against Rose, we come full circle to a very satisfying conclusion to 40 years of great storytelling.