Writer: Suzy Spade (Screenplay)
Starring: Jessica O’Toole, David Cotter, Hindolo Koroma, Rita Siddiqui, Katie Milner Evans, Hattie Willow
Plot: A group of teens are tormented by the Grim Reaper and his pet after undergoing an experiment that allows them to revisit the dead.
Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Afterlife Delight
Story: Pet Graveyard starts when struggle college student Lily (O’Toole) is pressured by her internet famous brother Jeff (Cotter) to take part in one of his latest videos, one that will push the boundaries of science and the natural world in a hope to speak to their late mother. Joining the siblings are Zara (Siddiqui) and Francis (Koroma) who are both wanting to reconnect with lost ones.
The three will kill themselves to travel to the afterlife, where they do get to see the lost loved one before Lily brings them back to life. The problems start when the three start getting haunted by what they saw because once you enter the afterlife it doesn’t want to let you go.
Thoughts on Pet Graveyard
Characters – Lily is the student nurse that has been struggling with her grades after the death of her mother, she reluctantly agrees to help her brother with his latest stunt video, being trained to bring the back from the afterlife, she is the one that investigates when the strange events start happening to the three that went to the other side. Jeff is the now daredevil internet celebrity looking for his latest fix for views, he does want to see his mother once again after how they last saw each other, he will need to let lily help once the experiment starts having darker side effects. Zara is one of the other people to take part, she wants to see her little brother again, she is the first to go under, giving us the idea of what we will be experiencing. Francis is the third member of the experiment, he wants to reconnect to the girlfriend he lost, he tries to go back to his normal life after, but what haunts him will not stay away.
Performances – We have four main actors in this film, Jessica O’Toole does take the leading role with her needing to balance the grief and responsibility required for character. David Cotter does make us believe we are watching an internet celebrity figure, or at least one trying to become a superstar, bringing the carefree attitude to life. Rita Siddiqui brings her characters traditional beliefs to the film which works for the supporting roles, with Hindolo Koroma completing the cast with supporting performance that works well.
Story – The story follows four people that perform an experiment to visit lost loved one only for the grim reaper to come calling for them. The first element of the story we need to address, is the title of the film, this has nothing to do with pets, in fact it is closer to Flatliners. Getting past this, we do have an interesting horror that does address the question about whether you should try to community with the dead or not. When it comes to the figure that visits, we do get a new looking figure that is one you wouldn’t want to meet, that does give a unique kills too. It might have certain moments that are by the book, but for a horror story this is easy to follow and that’s all we need.
Horror – The horror comes from the visit to the afterlife, the figure that comes for the victims, it does feel like we could have a new horror figure too.
Settings – The film keeps the settings simple, we have the ritual location which is filled with spiritual creepiness, while the rest of the settings include everyday life, showing how the hauntings will follow them home.
Special Effects – The effects are simple, we only use them when needed and they don’t look out of place.
Final Thoughts – This is a strong horror that will ask a question about the afterlife, introduces us to a potential new horror icon and has unique kills.
Overall: A new horror killer is born.