Verdict: Pet Sematary resurrects King’s twisted tale of frightful outcomes.
We’re living in the golden age of Stephen King adaptations with spook fests like the recently released It (2017) and its upcoming sequel to the Castle Rock TV series. While the literary master of horror is in the limelight, it is only fitting that we get to relive the terror of one of his most sinister chapters which we first experienced on screen back in 1989. King himself once said that of all the books he’s written, this is the one that genuinely scares him the most. So, let’s take a look at how the 2019 remake of the tale of the Pet Sematary fares.
What’s Pet Sematary About:
The Creed family just moved from the busy city of Boston to the rural countryside of Ludlow, Maine. Medic Louis (Jason Clarke) and his wife Rachel (Amy Seimetz) are the parents of two young kids – the eight-year-old Ellie (Jeté Laurence) and their toddler Gage (Hugo and Lucas Lavoie). The family wishes to spend more time with each other at this new home located in the midst of dense forests. The seemingly idyllic new location turns into something sinister with ominous speeding trucks and the discovery of a pet cemetery or “Pet Sematary” as it’s misspelled on a sign in the family’s own backyard. However, it what’s beyond the resting place that’s truly eerie. When asked about how far the property goes, the Creeds’ friendly neighbor Jud Crandall (John Lithgow) mentions, “Further than you ever want to go.” One day, Judd leads Louis into those deep woods when tragedy strikes for the family as their beloved cat Church becomes roadkill. Buried in a misty graveyard deep into the woods, Church returns back home alive and unwell. “Sometimes, dead is better” warns Jud. But when another tragedy strikes, this time with higher stakes, will Louis be able to resist the help of the sinister, miraculous graveyard?
As confirmed by the film’s trailer, writers Matt Greenberg and Jeff Buhler decided to put a new spin on the maestro of horror Stephen King’s harrowing story. This unique adaptation of Pet Sematary paired with directors Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmeyer’s fresh perspective makes this retelling a haunting one. The film’s plot revives King’s compelling premise of an everyday American family faced with a grim nightmare world. The misspelled titular graveyard is as spooky as we remember and tragedy that the Creed family faces hits hard. Finally, it is the strong performances from the cast that’s worth taking notice of in this remake. Jason Clarke and Amy Seimetz both channel the desperation of the grieving parents while Jeté Laurence stands out as her character shifts. John Lithgow is brilliant in the pivotal role of Judd, as usual.
What Could’ve Been Better:
Much like its characters, Pet Sematary brings back the Stephen King classic in a terrifying new form but, somewhere along the way, its soul is lost. The author’s original story wasn’t just a terrifying tale but an exploration of grief which wasn’t explored to its full potential in this remake.
Why You Should Watch:
Pet Sematary is quite possibly Stephen King’s most tragic and terrifying tale. This 2019 remake of the classic delivers the twists and the spooks just as horrifically as we remember them. Check it out if you’re a fan of the maestro of horror or if you just love a good thrill.