Pet Sematary Movie Review

Sometimes Dead is Better!

Nearly 30 years later and the Stephen King classic Pet Sematary gets a well-deserved reboot. Normally I would be nervous revisiting a classic, but this post IT remake era. . While it may not be “scary” in the sense of IT, be warned that the concept is incredibly dark and beautifully disturbing. There are a few jump scares and some gratuitously gory moments, but heart of this film comes from grief its main character go through and how despicably evil the “resurrected” are. 

The story begins with the Creed family—Father Louis (Jason Clarke), Mother Rachel (Amy Seimetz), eight-year-old  Ellie (Jete Laurence), two-year-old Gage (Twins Hugo and Lucas Lavoie) and beloved family cat Church—arriving in the backwoods small town of Ludlow, Maine to move into their new home.

The Creeds soon find out that the back part of their property houses a local pet cemetery where kids have been burying their pets for many years. Before long, a truck mangles the beloved Church. Louis does not have the heart to break the news to Ellie.  Jud (John Lithgow) offers to help Louis bury him. During their journey to bury Church Jud, probes Louis about how much Church meant to Ellie. Determining that for Elle’s sake, they should bury Church in a different area of the burial ground. Therefore, the Louis and Jud hike up further to a lesser used burial ground. They bury Church and leave.  For those who are unfamiliar with the details the story, it will not come as a major surprise that the next day, Church quietly returns, albeit not in great shape nonetheless alive—however he smells awful, he is quite angry, moody and begins lurking about the house like a predator. Much to Louis’s surprise, it turns out that this burial ground has the power to bring the dead back, though, Jud points out, the buried are not the same when they come back. After a series of heart, breaking events a grieving Louis is forced to make a desperate decision that will affect the Creed family permanently.

Ultimately, Pet Sematary surpasses its predecessor, by focusing on the overall dread and despair their characters bring. However, at some point it did not trust its source and veered off into a by the numbers jump scare horror movie. Overall, the true asset of this film is the overall performances turned in by the cast.  Jason Clarke, Amy Seimetz, John Lithgow and especially Jeté Laurence as young Ellie, gave the audience reasons to care for the characters they played.

Verdict: Pet Sematary gets 3.75 Cats out of 5 from me!

Running time: 101 MIN.

PRODUCTION: A Paramount Pictures release and presentation of a di Bonaventura Pictures production, in association with Room 101, Inc. Producers: Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Steven Schneider, Mark Vahradian. Executive producer: Mark Moran.

CREW: Directors: Kevin Kölsch, Dennis Widmyer. Screenplay: Jeff Buhler, based on the novel by Stephen King. Camera (color): Laurie Rose. Editor: Sarah Broshar.

WITH: Jason Clarke, Amy Seimetz, John Lithgow, Jeté Laurence, Hugo Lavoie, Lucas Lavoie.

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