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Halloween may be over, but that’s no reason for the frights to end.
On Friday and Saturday, the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park will host “Doctor Sleepless” — two packed days that fans of horror will not want to miss.
Starting at noon, attendees will get to spend the weekend with Mike Flanagan — director of the “Doctor Sleep” movie and creator of Netflix horror series “Haunting of Hill House,” “Haunting of Bly Manor” and “Midnight Mass.”
Also in attendance will be Flanagan’s wife and actor Kate Siegel, who played Erin Green in “Midnight Mass” and who co-wrote and starred in “Hush” as Maddie Young, a deaf-mute horror author who has a run-in with a masked killer.
The two will screen a director’s cut of “Doctor Sleep” — a chilling sequel to Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining” — and the NoSleep Podcast will be performing live with a cast of David Cummings, Linsay Rousseau, Mick Wingert, Nikolle Doolin and Kyle Akers.
A weekend pass is $217.
Boulder-bred brothers Matt and Harrison Query — who together wrote and recently released the critically acclaimed horror novel “Old Country,” that will eventually become a Netflix feature — will be in attendance on Saturday to sign books and discuss the inspiration behind their latest release.
For the creative duo, it’s a full-circle moment as the origin of “Old Country” can be traced back to a short story written by Matt and posted online on Reddit’s r/NoSleep — a forum where writers share original scary reads.
When Matt’s first installment of “My Wife and I Bought a Ranch” hit the internet in February 2020, readers couldn’t get enough of the tale of a former Marine and his bride moving into a sprawling Idaho property, only to contend with a shapeshifting nefarious force that gets creepier as the seasons change.
Matt recruited his brother Harrison to help the piece evolve into a full-fledged page-turner. Harrison, an accomplished screenwriter, also went to work crafting a script based on the chilling story, resulting in a seven-figure deal with Netflix.
Much like the characters in Netflix’s “The Watcher” — based on a New Jersey couple’s real experience — the protagonists in “Old Country” flee Denver seeking fresh air and a better quality of life.
Dreams of serene days on a homestead surrounded by the tranquility of nature soon fades when an older couple warns them about the sinister spirit that wreaks all different kinds of havoc throughout the year.
Matt drew inspiration from his own experience of moving to a rural area of Oregon.
We caught up with Harrison to find out more about the project, what it’s like collaborating with his brother and what we can expect next from the imaginative siblings.
KM: I love that “Old Country” started as postings by your brother on Reddit. When you read his early drafts of “My Wife and I Bought a Ranch” did you see the potential for it to evolve into something bigger?
Harrison Query: I actually never saw an early draft of it. Matt had posted it on Reddit prior to ever telling me about it. I think he wanted to see how it was received first, as he’d not shared his work with me before. So by the time I read it, it was already immensely popular on the site. However, as soon as I read it, it was obvious that it was very strong conceptually and would get a lot of attention as a piece of IP (intellectual property).
KM: What was the process like collaborating with Matt to craft a solid novel and screenplay, and would you welcome the chance to work together again?
HQ: It was amazing. As brothers, we have a shorthand that makes things very easy. It was interesting as we wrote the novel and screenplay simultaneously, which is unusual and led to an interesting influence between the two forms. And yes, we actually just sold a two-book deal to Simon and Schuster and have more projects underway as we speak.
KM: What can you tell us about the “Old Country” Netflix movie? Is there a potential release date, set filming locations and actors who have signed on?
HQ: The script is done, though the rest is under wraps. We can definitely say however that we’re really excited about it.
KM: As an accomplished screenwriter, what are some films or shows lately that you’ve really enjoyed and felt moved by?
HQ: On the film side, the “Banshees of Inisherin” I thought was incredible and in TV, few things have come close to “Barry” for me in terms of blowing my mind — no pun intended.
KM: What can we expect next from you? I read you have a film coming out starring Tom Hardy called “War Party.”
HQ: I’ve got a number of feature film projects at various studios, as well as a TV show in development with Paramount. And we are excited to say that Paramount is also making the adaptation of our next novel as a feature film, as well.
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