Stephen King Says The New Pet Sematary Movie Is Scary. Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You
2019’s release of Pet Sematary is a successful remake of the 1989 film of the same name. The films are screen versions of the serial writer Stephen King who is a master of the suspense and horror genre. Hallmarks of this movie are a gripping, good plot that keeps viewers on their toes, a strong cast with excellent performances, and a feeling of ever-increasing dread. Top it all with some wonderfully black comedy and you have all the requisites for a compelling film that stands out from the crowd.
Directed by Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer they quickly set the tone of inescapable doom like a pervasive fog that settles and stifles. That’s the perfect setting for the horror of the burial ground to be unearthed and unleashed. The plot pivots around the main characters who are part of the Creed family. The titular ‘Pet Sematary’ is a certain ancient burial place for family pets that has acquired the profane power to bring dead phantom animals back from the grave. A battle ensues against the forces of darkness in animal form that takes the human characters to hell and back!
The tale of the Creed family comes across as very human and all the more terrifying because the audience can experience every scare and new horror as it it were happening to them. Jason Clarke takes the helm as character Louis Creed - a doctor who moves his family to a small town in Maine, including his daughter Ellie and her cat. They move into a rustic red house that’s a converted barn which is quaint - almost idyllic. But not quite! There’s a foreboding pet cemetery near the house. Its mis-spelt sign for ‘cemetery’ becomes a symbol for what else is about to go wrong. However, the really uncanny phenomenon is that the local kids have a quasi-pagan habit of making a procession to the ‘sematary’ to bury their dead pets- while wearing animal masks! Once Ellie’s beloved cat named ‘Church’ dies and is buried- this time unfortunately for the Creeds, the dead just don’t stay dead.
There is an incremental and methodical build up from start to gruesome finish that makes for a show stopping and blood-curdling finale. But to get there, you’ve got to watch every twist and turn. The otherwise excruciating suspense is tactfully alleviated at just the right times with some morbidly comedic moments. The young Ellie Creed - played by Jeté Laurence- is a talented actress who takes the limelight and convincingly portrays an angry girl stuck in the midst of an outlandish supernatural storm. The rest of the Creed family work well in coming across as an authentic bunch which underpins the emotional fulcrum to lever the tension because the more the audience identifies with the characters, the more intense the film!
By spinning off the original book, writer Jeff Buhler has adapted the Pet Sematary story well from the book of Stephen King. It even got Mr King’s nod of approval on Twitter: when he tweeted: “This is a scary movie. Be warned.” Now if Stephen King reckons it’s scary, we’ll take his word for it. But watch for yourself and see if you agree? We dare you!
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An entertaining, sporadically spooky, but steadily stimulating horror offering that enjoys playing with the conventional tropes of the supernatural sub-genre
Although the changes to the source material are guaranteed to polarize some Stephen King fans, Pet Sematary bucks the remake trap of simply paying homage to an iconic piece of horror. Instead, it makes drastic changes to the plot so it can ultimately go more complex with its themes. That’s a hell of a trick to pull off. Sometimes, different is better.
Clarke is fantastic as Louis, and Laurence is even better as the precocious, painfully sensitive Ellie. She steals the movie, with Kolsch and Widmyer's blessing.
Coming 30 years after the original 1989 movie adaptation, this remake is effectively unsettling, focusing on the characters and their understandable emotions rather than on overt gore and FX.
Dr. Louis Creed and his wife, Rachel, relocate from Boston to rural Maine with their two young children. The couple soon discover a mysterious burial ground hidden deep in the woods near their new home.