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I do not like most horror movies. Doctor Sleep was the kind of horror movie I like. There were no obviously stupid moves made by the characters, which means two things: 1) the writing was uncharacteristically tight; and 2) I wound up rooting for the good guys. When people do stupid things in movies, I always think to myself, “Well, I’m glad you’re going to die, dumb ass.” The movie serves as a sequel to 1980’s the Shining. In that story, a father, mother, and son were staying in a remote Colorado hotel during the off-season. Spirits were awakened and possessed the father, who tried to kill them both. Snowed in from the customary weather, the mother and son were left with few options, so they had to fight back. Doctor Sleep is the story of SPOILER ALERT the son, who survived along with his mother, and now faces a completely different threat. While he could continue to keep himself hidden, he connects with another like him — a young girl — and feels compelled to help her as someone once helped him (and still does).
As a sequel to the Shining, it also tugged on the nostalgia heartstrings quite a bit, which may mean nothing to you. I saw the Shining in the theater when I was 12 years old. That was a fantastic movie, and Doctor Sleep did a great job of lining up with the Shining while still carving out its own path. For what it’s worth, its scores on Rotton Tomatoes are 77% from the critics (who don’t matter to me; well, usually), and 89% from the audience. These aren’t as good as the 85%/93% the Shining received, but close enough for you to consider it.
Doctor Sleep is currently streaming on HBO. As always, YMMV.
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