Pet Sematary is an average horror flick, elevated by some strong performances and the Stephen King creepy factor.
Score: 3 / 5
Well that was a disturbing flick. I’ll be honest I have never seen the original Pet Sematary or read Stephen King’s novel (I have read a lot of his work though, great author. Reading is cool people!) so I don’t have that comparison filter on like many others might have on this one. I just have what I saw in trailers and that’s it. With that out of the way, let’s dig into this one yeah? Get it? Dig in? A cemetery?
Anyways… Pet Sematary follows one Dr. Louis Creed, played by Jason Clarke, and his family as they move into a rural home that just happens to be next door to a cursed forest swap place. Oh and it is right next to a road where massive trucks are speeding past their driveway at 75 miles per hour or more. So probably not the best idea to move there with say, kids or pets? Wellll I guess Dr. Creed didn’t get a degree in family safety.
These variables at play eventually lead to pretty dark results, leading first to the death of their happy family pet cat, Church. Now this would be sad and all but Louis is introduced to the land beyond the Pet Sematary, the cursed ones, from their neighbor Judd, played by John Lithgow. He gives Louis just enough information that burying their cat in these lands will be for the best. The next morning the cat is back in the land of the living, but it’s not the same cat. It’s something tinged with evil.
From there the plot follows a dark and creepy road as Louis is pushed into a near madness like state making decisions that are just the worst you could think. Along the way his wife Rachel, played by Amy Seimetz, is dealing with some PTSD involving the death of her sister when she was a child. Which the haunted lands play into tormenting her on this subject as well. Needless to say this movie is creepy and disturbing, leaving you with an unsettling feeling throughout the runtime.
One of the reasons this works is that the cast all nails different versions of horrified and creepy. Jason Clarke is the damn master of having the shocked-to-his-soul look. Amy Seimetz stands toe to toe with Clarke as she does a great job of capturing the fear of the situation they are in. Then you have John Lithgow looking like the most regretful broken man that has walked the earth. Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Jete Laurence’s Ellie, the daughter of the family. She takes the creepy vibes and turns them into a living breathing person.
All in all it creates a movie that’s super dark throughout and really never lets you get a chance to breathe. The tense dial can only go up in this story. It works to a degree, but at a point it just gets exhausting. It’s my major gripe with the movie along with just the silliness with the family not thinking of putting up a fence next to the road. You know anything to keep their loved ones from getting flattened by trucks. I guess my other feeling with the film, is it feels like I have seen this before? This all could be from the fact that others took inspiration from King’s work and injected it into their own films, but it feels like a pretty standard horror story with the splash of King’s creepy detail. That said I didn’t dislike the movie, I just wasn’t as impressed with it as I was hoping. So for those looking for a pretty creepy movie you can’t go wrong with Pet Sematary, just don’t expect anything earth shattering.