Overview: Doctor Louis Creed (Jason Clarke) wants the opportunity to spend more time with his wife and children. He decides to relocate out of the busy city and into a rural house on a large plot of forest land. Contained in this forest is a pet cemetery that sits on an old Indian burial ground. This burial ground contains many mysterious secrets that seem destined to be explored by Dr. Creed.
Pet Sematary is Rated R for horror violence, bloody images, and some language
What Worked: With so many of Stephen King's classic novels being brought to the big screen, it was only a matter of time until the classic Pet Sematary was remade. As a big fan of the original '80s movie, I was really looking forward to this new iteration. My final thoughts are mixed, but there are some aspects of this remake that surpass its predecessor. To begin, directors Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer do a tremendous job of setting a very dark and unsettling atmosphere. Creaky floors and dim lighting are just some of the trademarks utilized to set up Pet Sematary’s scares. I was also a huge fan of the Indian forest and cemetery itself. The eerie, fog-filled wooded areas look phenomenal and are a character in themselves.
Although the horror genre rarely showcases acting, I thought that the movie sported some good presentation. Lead actor Jason Clarke does a great job playing a caring father forced to decide between true fate and personal angst. His daughter Ellie (Jete Laurence) does a solid job playing such a complex role at such a young age. Pet Sematary has some great practical effects and makeup throughout the film. This is a very gruesome and graphic movie; the bloody carnage looks so real that some stomachs might get queasy. This is definitely a film for big time horror fans.
What Didn’t Work: The main issues that plague this 2019 remake is that it didn’t try hard enough to create a new vision. Pet Sematary is extremely similar to the original; in fact, other than a character swap and an altered ending, the two movies mirror one another pretty closely. My favorite aspect of the original was how creepy it was. It had great scares, and the Creeds' little crazed son Gage was absolutely terrifying one second and cute the next. I thought that the Creeds' daughter Ellie did a great job in this iteration. However, I believe the supernatural concept of a toddler coming after you with a knife is scarier than a 9-year-old. I was also disappointed to see that the dread and tension from the original was supplemented by a gluttony of jump scares. Sadly, this seems to be a common trait of both remakes and the horror genre in general. Composer Christopher Young's score was just simple and could have expanded on the tragedy more. Of course, they managed to sneak in the classic song by The Ramones, “Pet Sematary."
Overall: Pet Sematary is a decent horror film in this day and age. Recent films by Jordan Peele, however, have deviated from this stigma. All in all, Pet Sematary is a perfect popcorn movie. Go on a stormy night with your significant other, hold them close, and be happy that there are no real Pet Semataries anywhere nearby.