Despite hailing from one of the horror genre’s most consistent filmmakers coming off the back of Netflix’s smash hit The Haunting of Hill House, Mike Flanagan’s Doctor Sleep didn’t find much of an audience when it hit theaters last year. While the Stephen King adaptation scored solid reviews, it disappointed at the box office after bringing in a little over $70 million on a $45 million budget, resulting in a loss for the studio and forcing any plans for a potential sequel to be abandoned.
Doctor Sleep came burdened with a lot of pressure as a direct continuation of the story told in The Shining, which is regarded as one of the greatest horror movies ever made, and while Flanagan managed to do a solid job in adapting the source material, there just wasn’t much interest from either fans of Stanley Kubrick’s classic, Stephen King’s work or the genre in general.
A running time of 152 minutes and very deliberate pace that took the story a long time to get moving likely turned a lot of people off the idea of sitting through Doctor Sleep, especially when it was announced that the movie would arrive on home video with a Director’s Cut that added an extra 28 minutes of footage.
However, Flanagan’s slow-burning supernatural tale is now available to stream on HBO Max and looks to be in the midst of a reappraisal after proving to be one of the recently-launched service’s most popular new titles. In fact, you can check out just some of the reactions below.
Not entirely sure why Doctor Sleep is suddenly trending, but for the record:
It’s the best movie of last year, and probably one of the best of the decade. It is smart, sinister, and surprisingly empathetic.
I adore it. pic.twitter.com/cXhpaYfMCA
— Brad Perry (@michigansoul) June 28, 2020
DOCTOR SLEEP was very well reviewed and it’s amazing but also we did not devote NEARLY ENOUGH ENERGY to discussing how fucking good Rebecca Ferguson was in this movie. pic.twitter.com/uFzwbuF4l1
— Jordan Crucchiola (@JorCru) June 28, 2020
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The Director's Cut of DOCTOR SLEEP is an entirely different movie. Either cut plays great at home on a Saturday night.
Get to it. https://t.co/NWe2GdS0K9
— Sterling Gates (@sterlinggates) June 28, 2020
Can we talk about how Doctor Sleep managed to be not only a great movie, but also a good adaptation of the book despite having to make up for Kubrick messing the story up, AND allowed fans of the Shining book and movie able to understand and love it? Doctor Sleep was that bitch.
— ?VampwolfWarrior? (@VampwolfWarrior) June 28, 2020
DOCTOR SLEEP is incredible and I absolutely LOVED it!! One of the best King adaptations, best horror movie of 2019, the casting is perfect, and an extremely worthy sequel to THE SHINING! Can't imagine not watching the director's cut, I was totally captivated for 3 hours! pic.twitter.com/fLyAji08sI
— ɌΛ▼ΞΠ (@videoblivion) June 28, 2020
There’s no denying that Doctor Sleep is one of the most underrated and little-seen movies of 2019, but with a whole new audience now able to enjoy it for themselves at the push of the button, you never know, the sequel might one day eventually find itself back in development.