Halloween Kingathon – Pet Sematary (1989)

Banner-3logoDirector: Mary Lambert

Writer: Stephen King (Screenplay) Stephen King (Novel)

Starring: Dale Midkiff, Fred Gwynne, Denise Crosby, Brad Greenquist, Michael Lombard, Miko Hughes, Blaze Berdahl, Susan Blommaert

Plot: Behind a young family’s home in Maine is a terrible secret that holds the power of life after death. When tragedy strikes, the threat of that power soon becomes undeniable.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Would You Play God?

Story: Pet Sematary starts when the Creed family moves into their new home with a busy road fr trucks right on their doorstep. We have father Louis (Midkiff), Rachel (Crosby) and children Gage (Hughes) and Ellie (Berdahl), who have a narrow escape with an accident before meeting neighbour Jud Crandall (Gwynne). There is a small pat new the house which leads to a Pet Sematary because of the roads victims over the years.

With the family settled and seasons past the first tragedy hits the family when the family cat gets run over, Louis buries the cat in an ancient burial ground as for Jud advice, when the cat returned from the dead Jud explains the powers the burial ground but also warns of the side effects.

The family has a second tragedy when the youngest Gage is killed by one of the speeding trucks which leads to Louis taking his body to the Indian Burial Ground to bring him back, but he learns that you can’t bring people back.

Pet Sematary is a film that offers a horror from real tragedy, what could possible be worse than seeing your own child killed? We see how the family deals with this loss, but most importantly we see how one man tries to overcome this problem by trying to play God and shattering any memories he had of his son when the son tries to kill him. This film tackles the idea of loss in the family very well and has all the trademarks of a good horror story. (7/10)

Actor Review

Dale Midkiff: Louis Creed is the loving father and doctor who while his family is away takes his dead cat to an Indian Burial Ground where it comes back like nothing happened. Learning the powers of the grave he uses it when another tragedy hits the family to bring his son back with dire consequences. David does a good job in the lead role because on paper his character enters the stage against science when he is meant to be a doctor showing just how any father would do anything to get their child back. (7/10)louis

Fred Gwynne: Jud Crandall is the old neighbour who teaches Louis about the Indian Burial Ground as well as the Pet Sematary, he looks out for the family but in the end he puts the idea into Louis head. Fred does a good job filling the trademark old figure teaching the problems which could happen. (7/10)jud

Denise Crosby: Rachel Creed is the wife and mother of the family who spends time away from the family while Louis crosses the lines f right and wrong when it comes with messing with the dead and the living. Rachel gives a solid performance in the supporting role. (6/10)

Support Cast: Pet Sematary has a supporting cast that includes the two kids who both do a great job, but everyone else is rather generic supporting characters including disapproving father in law.

Director Review: Mary Lambert Mary does a great job bringing us a horror that will hit hard without being truly frightening. (7/10)

Horror: Pet Sematary isn’t the scariest but puts us into a situation where we would be horrified with what happened. (7/10)

Settings: Pet Sematary uses the setting as the most important part of the film, it annoys me that the parents didn’t build a fence with the traffic that dangerous, but without this setting none of the events would have happened. (9/10)
Special Effects: Pet Sematary uses good effects throughout and that ankle slice right up there with Evil Dead. (9/10)

Suggestion: Pet Sematary is one for al the horror fans to watch, if you are a King fan you have too have watched it. (Horror Fans Watch)

Best Part: Easily one of the most shocking deaths in horror.

Worst Part: bad parenting.

Kill Of The Film: Gage because it is so shocking.

Oh My God Moment: Gage’s death

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Yes

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $57.5 Million

Budget: $11.5 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

Tagline: Sometimes dead is better.

Trivia: Bruce Campbell was the first choice for the role of Louis Creed.

Overall: Shocking Horror that really hits home hard.

Rating 75


  1. I suggest to take a look at the novel. There are many things that the film has omitted-like the story of the Wendigo and details of the horrific case of Timmy Baterman. It is true that can be heavy at the time of reading their pages because they put unnecessarily long conversations with insignificant details which have no preponderance, but I still recommend it. The end is open, to leave it to the reader’s choice. I’m not saying the movie is bad. It’s scary, but sometimes a film does not offer the whole essence of a literature work.
    My rating of Pet Sematary (1989): 6/10

  2. Good King pick! This one scared the crap out of me. You nailed the psychological and thematic horror, but the visceral gore got me. Like the haunting specter, and the ankle slice you highlighted. For me, the frail woman in the attic always terrified me. Dunno why but damn just thinking about it sends shivers. Thanks for that, bruv 😉 hahaha.

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