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

Halloween Kingathon – The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer (2003)

Banner-3logoDirector: Craig R Baxley

Writer: Ridley Pearson (Screenplay) Stephen King (Characters)

Starring: Lisa Brenner, Steven Brand, Kate Burton, Tsidii Leloka, Brad Greenquist, Deirdre Quinn, Tsai Chin, Hans Altwies

Plot: Set at the turn of the century, this is the tale of Ellen Rimbauer who just received this mysterious mansion as a wedding gift from her new husband. Her husband is a Seattle oil tycoon who has a dark past which Ellen eventually finds out about. She becomes fearful of her husband when she learns of some disappearances of people that were close to him. Also there are some unexplained happenings at the Rose Red Mansion that might have a connection to these people who have disappeared. Now Ellen is worried she might be next.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Slow Horror Drama

Story: The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer starts with the diary of Ellen (Brenner) who talks about the house being a spirit house, before flashing back to 1910 where Ellen is just waiting for John Rimbauer (Brand) to propose. John proposes with the Rose Red Mansion as his gift for her.

While on their honeymoon Ellen became sick but thanks to Sukeena (Leloka) her life is saved and a new loyal friend comes home with her. Once the house is opened to live in strange things start occurring in the home with the idea that the house is built upon an ancient Indian Burial Ground.

With the marriage continuing the love starts to dwindle but the house isn’t happy as it starts to make people disappear leading to Ellen having to consult a spiritualist Madame Lu (Chin) for answers. When the second disappearance happens Ellen and Sukeena start to investigate the house themselves looking for answers to the unexplained.

The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer tries to bring us a prequel story to the scare filled Rose Red, but in the end the film ends up becoming very flat just showing the relationship between the Rimbauer’s without offering a single scare. The story tells us just extended scenes of the back story we learn in Rose Red and really just leaves us flat and disappointed that this is in fact just a drama. (3/10)

Actor Review

Lisa Brenner: Ellen Gilcrest Rimbauer is the young lady who marries power oil tycoon John, the wedding present is the Rose Red Mansion but the mansion has a mind of its own as it tries to protect Ellen from all the wrong doings in the house, but when she tries to escape the house comes after he nearest and dearest as she descends into madness. Lisa does a solid job in the role. (6/10)

Steven Brand: John Rimbauer is the oil tycoon that marries Ellen but always wants to be in control but when he tries to control Ellen the house decides to help her fight back. Steven gives a solid performance but never really shines. (5/10)

Tsidii Leloka: Sukeena is the helper Ellen meets in Africa that helps her through a sickness before becoming her most trusted friend, she helps Ellen learn about the house through the film. Tsidii does a solid job throughout. (6/10)

Support Cast: The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer has a supporting cast that mostly includes the people that go missing or seem to be against one member of the Rimbauer’s causing the friction.

Director Review: Craig R BaxleyCraig brings us a horror film with no scares and a drama with nothing interesting happening. (3/10)

Drama: The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer ends up bring the family drama from the high society world in rather boring style. (4/10)

Horror: The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer offers nearly no scares. (1/10)

Mystery: The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer tries to offer a mystery but it really doesn’t because we know what happens. (3/10)

Settings: The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer keeps most of the film inside the mansion but it just doesn’t have the same haunting feeling as the first outing. (5/10)

Suggestion: The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer is one you could easily miss because it gives us nothing in a world created from the first Rose Red. (Avoid It)

Best Part: Nothing.

Worst Part: Ruins what was created.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

Tagline: Last year Stephen King and Craig Baxley dared you to stay at Rose Red. Now see how the terror began.

Overall: Disappointingly dull horror drama

Rating 15