It has been in the works for ten years with multiple directors and producers interested along the way. Now, with the help of Stephen King, Pet Sematary found its directors with Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer, who have finally brought it back on the big screen.
At this point, most of us know the story of Pet Sematary, some of us still remember the original movie creeping us out. So with that being said, there is really no need for an in-depth summary of the story. The film introduces the Creed family, as Louis, Rachel and their two children relocate to a rural town. They soon discover that their property includes a mysterious burial ground for pets. When disaster strikes, Louis turns to his neighbour Jud Crandall, which ends up having horrific consequences for all involved.
The script has been altered from the original story to keep things fresh and surprise audience members, which admittedly was a good decision, otherwise this adaptation would have ventured into the campy territory, like the original one. However, it lacks in suspense and there is a sense that something is missing in the film without knowing what that might be.
Those who are fans of the original movie may not like the changes made but most people would appreciate the direction the creators have chosen to take this time around.
The cast involved bring authenticity to the plot, especially Jete Laurence as Ellie, and of course, Church, who is portrayed by four cats. Needless to say, both characters are highlights. John Lithgow’s talents are wasted as his character (Crandall) has very little screen time, and if you are familiar with the story, you know Crandall has more layers than what is portrayed in this version. Jason Clarke is the lead actor, he skillfully portrays the grieving father (Louis) who makes a monumental mistake. Amy Seimetz takes on the role of Rachel, while she doesn’t get as much material to work with as Clarke, her final few scenes are quite memorable.
Pet Sematary does carry a very dark undertone throughout its running time, that factor is complemented by the equally depressing and sinister cinematography, both of which are faultless and adds to the overall feeling towards the narrative. Due to its running time, there are a lot of aspects of the story that were edited out, as a result the movie does have some pacing issues but nothing that can’t be overlooked.
Overall, Pet Sematary is an enjoyable modern take of a classic Stephen King story but it does lack in suspense and something else that I can’t quite put my finger on. 6/10
Pet Sematary is in cinemas now.