Director(s) – Kevin Kolsch (Starry Eyes, Scream: The TV Series) and Dennis Widmyer (Holidays, Scream: Resurrection)
Starring – Jason Clarke (Winchester, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes), Amy Seimetz (Alien:Covenant, The Sacrament), and John Lithgow (Drunk History, The Campaign)
Release Date – 2019
Rating – 3.5/5
Tagline – “Sometimes dead is better”
When I was younger I would watch horror and sci-fi films with my grandmother while my dad was out of town. I stayed with her every Wednesday and Friday night so we would get a lot of stuff watched. On Wednesdays we would watch Lexx, Rosewell, and anything the Sci-Fi Channel, now Syfy, would air. On Fridays we would watch anything I rented for the weekend.
One day I rented Pet Sematary II when I saw it and she already had the first on tape. We watched them both and I was surprised by how much I liked them. They both were highly entertaining and still hold up well over the years. When news of another adaptation of the Stephen King novel was announced I was excited especially after John Lithgow was attached. When it was released in theaters I ran to see it and I loved it. The next day I thought I wrote a review for it but apparently I did not. When the physical release was announced I had to jump on it to review it.
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows the Creed family who move into a country home. They are near an old pet cemetery which draws the interest of their oldest daughter. Their elderly neighbor tries to steer them clear of venturing too far into it but when the young girl loses her beloved cat to a semi he decided to show Louis, the father, a special spot in the cemetery that can bring the dead back to life but at a cost. The cat is not itself once it is reanimated but things change for the worse when the cat lures the little girl into the road with a semi approaching. Her death rips the family apart and they return to Boston while Louis sets out to bury her in the special portion of the cemetery which sets in motion the end of his family…or is it?**Spoiler Alert**
Everyone and their mother has seen the original adaptation of Pet Sematary. It is one of the more popular horror films to come out of the end of the 80s. I remember reading the story in elementary school but I don’t recall enough about it to remember how faithful either adaption is but both films are fantastic. With that being said, this one really struck a nerve with me and left me feeling uneasy.
The acting in this one is great. Jason Clarke is a solid lead. I often joke that Clarke is who they cast when Patrick Wilson is unavailable but Clarke really is a phenomenal actor. He does a great job in the lead and really brings a wide range of emotion to the film. The same can be said or John Lithgow. In the original Jud was portrayed by legendary actor Fred Gwynne but if anyone could fill those shoes it was Lithgow and he does a fantastic job. With that being said, I was not feeling Amy Seimetz in her role. Her character was very unlikable for me and her scenes were almost awkward to watch. The supporting cast is solid but the characters don’t really stand out like these three.
The story for this one did not go as one would expect after watching the original adaption. The movie tricks you into believing the same scenarios are about to unfold only to switch it up on you. With that being said, this one did hit me hard. I haven’t told many people about this but when my wife was pregnant with our second child I had a dream that our oldest daughter, who was 2 at the time, had died. In my dream I became extremely unstable and lost my mind. I woke up in a panic and cried pretty much the entire day. It really hit me hard. The way the story unfolds gave me the same heartache and anxiety. The movie is able to build tension and suspense before ripping our hearts out. I love the atmosphere and how dark the film is. My only real complaint about the film is that some of the scenes are painfully slow. It has meaningless dialogue that leaves the viewer rolling their eyes.
Finally, we get some solid practical effects throughout the film along with some somewhat decent CGI. The deaths have some blood or take place off camera and we get consistent effects throughout. Overall, Pet Sematary is a great popcorn horror flick. The deaths are easily forgettable but some of the scenes pack a punch for any parent. Fans of the original film or wanting a big budget horror film should really check this one out.