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Looking for the best horror movies on HBO Max? Then watch “Doctor Sleep” and look no further. “Doctor Sleep” is an instant classic and as a horror fan you should watch it if you didn’t already. It’s a 2019 sequel to the 1980’s “The Shining”. We mustn’t forget “Stephen King’s The Shining” the three-episode miniseries directed by Mick Garris in 1997. Yet, that miniseries wasn’t a sequel but a remake of the original movie.

With the release of “Doctor Sleep” the “The Shining” franchise has become much more rounded and a heavy contender in the horror pantheon, even if it took it almost 40 years to spawn a sequel. Like other horror movies on HBO Max I already reviewed, I didn’t  watch it on Max, though, I watched it before subscribing, when using the semi-free (new discontinued) HBO GO.

Danny Torrance (Ewan McGregor) is a grown-up man living the kind of life that childhood at the Overlook as the son of a pathologic drunk could live. He’s psycho-spiritually contacted and pulled from his dead-end life to go on a mission: deal with a gang of ancient spiritual vampires that suck the souls out of people.

I liked how Ewan played Danny. I loved “Doctor Sleep”, but I’m not a fan of “The Shining”. I’m happy to like this movie so much because now I have a feature-length movie to like from this saga, instead of miniseries as an alternative to the original.

I think the casting of Carel Struycken (Lurch in the 1990s “Addams Family” movie) as one of the spiritual vampires was a great idea, and the character’s story is a very entertaining story inside the story and one of the things that makes this movie great.

I guess I just wanted to like deeply a Shining movie and felt that the miniseries, that I liked more than the original adaptation, wasn’t that great to be a contender to the original. Now I can have “Doctor Sleep” as my main Shining saga movie.


“Doctor Sleep” is an epic movie. I liked that it lasts for two hours and a half. No part of it drags. The parts that had the potential to be a drag are actually abridged and don’t add any fluff, just pieces of the bigger picture we need to make sense of the story.

For me, the part of this movie that has the highest Stephen King feeling is the part when Danny as a child talks with Mr. Hallorann sitting on a bench in a square. I thought I was watching outtakes from the original, but they’re just a recreation of the Shining universe when Danny was a child made for this movie.

It felt creepy that two of the leads of this movie are child stars. I always feel aversion when I see children in horror movies with shocking subjects, but then I always remember that child stars are protected from watching the finished product until they are older

I liked the themes that “Doctor Sleep” incorporates into the Shining universe. Themes are easy to spot if you did your homework and learned real world and fantasy world topics. There are themes as there are watchers and as their stores of knowledge allow. This movie has plenty of topics to let you thinking after watching it.

In this movie, spiritual vampires make use of the astral plane to have an edge over the material one. This balances with the power that those that have the shining have.

The astral flight scenes were great and made this movie a lot darker than it would have been without them. Those scenes are the kind of scenes horror fans yearn for when they watch horror movies.

If you like paranormal horror movies with actual real-life occult subtext, you’re going to love this movie. Also, if you like a good hero-journey-based epic movie and audiovisual amusement-park-like ride (the flight scenes), then WATCH THIS MOVIE NOW!

If you think that the old times were better and that making a sequel to “The Shining” was uncalled for, and detrimental to the original story because it goes on a superhero/popcorn tangent, I congratulate you for your spiritual ignorance and prejudice, and please don’t watch it.


Best Horror Movies on HBO Max

HBO Max is getting better and better as an outlet for horror movies. Have you seen any very good horror movie on the service like this one? If so, which one? Please leave your response in the comments below, thanks.

© Bholenath Valsan 2021 — Best Horror Movies on HBO Max


I curate horror things for horror fans to discover them without hassle

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