My History With the Film:
After the success of IT, all sorts of Stephen King adaptations went into production. Somewhere more interesting than others, but none were quite as interesting as Pet Sematary, a favorite Stephen King story and beloved movie for people born in the late 70’s/early 80’s. Time has not been kind to the original film, so a remake was welcomed and I anxiously awaited the theatrical release of Pet Sematary by jamming to the Ramones classic.
A co-worker buddy of mine Landry accompanied me to the Alamo Drafthouse the week of its release.
What The Film Is About (Non-Spoiler):
A young family moves nearby a pet cemetery that is thought to have powers to resurrect the dead.
What I Liked About It:
-I felt like the casting was all over the place on this film. John Lithgow was perfectly cast as Jud and Amy Seimetz was well cast as Rachel. I thought that Jete Laurence did a fine job as Ellie, but the rest of the cast really seemed miscast.
-The Zelda scenes were great and were the highlight of the film for me.
-The Pet Sematary cover by Starcrawler was a great.
What I Didn’t Like About It:
-The overuse of CGI, especially at the burial ground was horrific. It really pulled me out of the film.
-The pacing was way too slow.
-On one part I applaud the filmmakers for trying something new. They attempted to change the story to tell something new and fresh by still familiar. However, I don’t feel like their changes were that strong nor did they enhance the story like they should have.
-I also feel like as the script was being written, any major iconic scenes were highlighted and then immediately changed to something else. That way the viewer was always left guessing what was coming next. Again, this is a decent theory on how to tell a different story, but it just didn’t work. All it did was aggravate me.
-There are some Stephen King universe references: at the birthday party a big Saint Bernard with rabies (Cujo) is mentioned and Derry (IT) is listed as nearby town.
-The cat’s makeup consisted on egg whites and chalk to make their fur matted, and then piece of grass and dirt was stuck on. Corn syrup was used for fake blood.
Pet Sematary is a weird film to rate. It wasn’t a bad film, it just wasn’t good. I think I went in with very high expectations and just came out feeling a bit let down. I haven’t had an urge to rewatch the movie, but if I ever do I feel like I may have to change my rating when I go in expecting a mediocre horror movie and not a high quality remake like IT was.
As it stands, I rate Pet Sematary as a two out of five and say it’s a low priority rental.