DIRECTOR: Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer (starry eyes, holidays)
STARRING: jason clarke, john lithgow, amy seimetz, and jete lawrence
REVIEWER: purdie jenkins
Louis Creed, his wife Rachel and their two children Gage and Ellie move to a rural home where they are welcomed and enlightened about the eerie 'Pet Sematary' located near their home. After the tragedy of their cat being killed by a truck, Louis resorts to burying it in the mysterious pet cemetery, which is definitely not as it seems, as it proves to the Creeds that sometimes, dead is better.
All hail Stephen King, for his 36 year old story still gives audiences chills. As a horror fan, something will always draw me to a story with the name Stephen King associated. There is a way his tales are crafted which draws you into these real lives only to thrill you in such a way you aren’t sure if you should keep your eyes open. The saving grace of course is that his stories are set in Maine, at least this helps me sleep with the lights off.
Pet Sematary has been adapted for film and set in in the modern day. A family of four have moved into the country, seeking a slower pace of lifestyle and so Louis can spend more time with his family instead of the night shift in the OR. A huge property covered in forest is also covered in secrets that are quite literally a matter of life and death. The directors of the film did talk about some disappointment in how much the final trailer reveals of the story, and watching it after the film I agree. Horror films are built on anticipation and if you are aware of who dies and how then it kind of ruins most of that build up.
The small intimate cast holds your attention; just a family and a neighbour with a few extra minor cast members and this focus on the Creeds really invests the viewer in their survival. They aren’t pretty faces for the screen, they are here for serious acting and that’s what we get, apart from a couple of lines that bring some awkward laughter. There are a few instances actually where the audience might laugh, because the only other alternative is to cringe. John Lithgow is great to watch and he settled into the friendly old man neighbour role with ease.
In some places I feel like it drags and it’s hard to tell if it’s to create tension and anticipation or if the filmmakers were overwhelmed with all the story to be told. It was an enjoyable ride nonetheless and that final act is one that will stick with me for a while. Fans of the the 2017 It won’t be disappointed as similar Stephen King flavours are still there. He is the father of modern horror and that’s why some moments feel almost cliche.
Pet Sematary will thrill audiences in a way that might be a little familiar but still entertaining all the same.