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The Best Superhero Horror Movie

Superheroes do not have to be related just to comic books, and many heroes appear in properties not owned by DC or Marvel. Fans may have been outraged when Superman killed Zod in "Man of Steel," but there are many stories that have the hallmarks of heroes. The fight against evil is a universal theme that appears in many stories — some of which come out unexpectedly.

The horror genre is widely untapped in this way. Good and evil often crop up in horror films, and with genre films being accepted on a larger scale these days, there is no better time to find a good superhero. Clive Barker's "Nightbreed" is one film that takes this to the extreme: A metaphor for human beings' prejudice, "Nightbreed" follows a young man who defends a realm of monsters, and it is a must-see for any Barker fan. But when looking for superheroes, one thing they need is superpowers, and the best horror film to utilize these tropes is one that premiered more recently.

Danny Torrance returns

Mike Flanagan's follow-up to "The Shining" had the potential for disappointment, especially considering the original film's success. Though "Doctor Sleep" is based on Stephen King's novel, Flanagan also combines it with aspects from Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining" — although the latter was famous for disappointing King deeply as it did not follow the source material. Flanagan pulls off a delicate balancing act where he respects both works of art and melds them together, but what makes "Doctor Sleep" a great superhero film is Danny Torrance.

Ewan McGregor plays adult Danny, on the road to recovery. According to The Guardian, King wrote "Doctor Sleep" after he had gotten sober, and this reflects in the subject material. Dan struggles with mistakes in his past he has committed because of alcohol. He is aware that his actions start to mirror his father's, but he is given a second chance when he meets Abra Stone (Kyliegh Curran). Like him, Abra "shines." Her powerful abilities are so strong that they attract a coven of psychic vampires who are intent on feeding on her. What they call "steam" (the psychic energy released by killing children who shine) revitalizes them so they can live forever. Eventually, Dan realizes that he will have to step up to the plate and redeem himself.

Doctor Sleep is the perfect anti-superhero film

Mike Flanagan has proven his affinity for horror, especially in the new limited series "Midnight Mass." In "Doctor Sleep," Flanagan also does not shy away from the horrific. In one particularly brutal scene, Rose the Hat (Rebecca Ferguson) viciously murders a young boy to absorb his steam. The camera does not stray from the violence, so the audience can see how truly terrible these villains are. This raises the stakes, but also calls Dan to action. He feels that he needs to make up for his crimes in the past. He needs to save a girl who represents how he used to be — innocent. Dan accesses his powers and fights the vampires with the help of Abra.

One of the ultimate hallmarks of a great hero is self-sacrifice. This is where the plot veers away from the book, though not necessarily in a bad way. Dan redeems himself, but in death: He sacrifices himself to save Abra. Thankfully, because of Abra's psychic powers, she can continue to communicate with him after he dies.

"Doctor Sleep" brings horror fans what they want. Gore and death are of course present in the film, but Flanagan also brings emotional catharsis. Audiences cannot help but feel for Dan, and mourn him as Abra does. This makes Dan's sacrifice worth it and makes him a true hero.