Writer: Matt Greenberg, Jeff Buhler (Screenplay) Stephen King (Novel)
Starring: Jason Clarke, John Lithgow, Amy Seimetz, Jete Laurence, Naomi Frenette, Alyssa Brooke Levine, Maria Herrera
Plot: Dr. Louis Creed and his wife, Rachel, relocate from Boston to rural Maine with their two young children. The couple soon discover a mysterious burial ground hidden deep in the woods near their new home.
Tagline – They don’t come back the Same.
Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Fog Machine Screen Test
Story: Pet Sematary starts as the Creed family, Louis (Clarke), Rachel (Seimetz), Ellie (Laurence) and toddler Gage, move from Boston to a rural Maine town, to start a quieter life style. The family just so happen to have bought a property with its own pet cemetery, spelt wrong with the S and all. The neighbour Jud (Lithgow) is welcoming and after the family cat Church dies, Jud tells Louis of the powers, which sees Church return, only he isn’t the same.
When tragedy strikes the Creed family, it leaves them divided and Louis is drawn back to the power which could solve the pain, but he only unleashes the secrets of the hidden grounds.
Thoughts on Pet Sematary
Characters – Louis is a former ER-Doctor, he needed to get out of that life with his new role being a college campus doctor, this gives him more time with his kids as they grow, making his life more relax. He is the one that never believed or talked about the afterlife which is why it seems strange that he is the one that follows Jud through the secret cemetery. Rachel is the wife, she spends most of her time checking her phone, being the typical housewife, she does have a haunted past which still scares her to this day. Jud is the nice welcoming neighbour, he has lived in this house for his whole life and now, he wants to show the wisdom he has learnt from the cemetery. He is the catalyst to everything that unfolds. Ellie is the oldest child of the family, she likes to adventure which can get her in trouble, but what 9-year-old isn’t like this?
Performances – This discussion on the performances is going down like most in horror, the child star Jete Laurence doesn’t do anything wrong and is the star of the show. Jason Clarke as often been the go to guy for a reliable lead, doesn’t get tested, while Amy Seimetz gets no true character development, giving her little to work with. John Lithgow get a scene where we learn the cats name being after Winston Churchill, and the wink wink idea that he won awards for playing the leader.
Story – The story follows a family that relocate to start a quieter life, they seem to have everything down perfectly until death starts coming into their lives, which only sees them needing to face ultimate decisions and figure out the power of the pet sematary in their back garden. This is obviously a remake of the Stephen King classic, so if you have seen the original or read the book, you will know the basics of this story. The story however seems to go off on wild side stories which don’t seem to have any connection to the pet semetery element of the story, it just gets confusing, there is such a large focus on Rachel’s past, which shouldn’t make sense in this film in anyway. Everything that returns from the original film works, it gets the required scare, but as I said the side stories just fill the empty space to make the film longer and get a scare from the audience.
Horror – The horror in this film can be broken down, we have the jump scares, though they can be seen coming a mile off, we have a thinking horror side to something that happens, which over plays on the mind for no reason too.
Settings – The film puts the family in a remote house, well one without many neighbours and a tight road that lorries steam down, this is effective for the first proper jump scare, which you would see in the original, for the rest of the settings the fog machine covers up the flaws here.
Special Effects – The effects when practical look creepy and effective, we don’t get many, but much like the settings, the fog machine makes a big impact here covering up any true weaknesses in the special effects.
Final Thoughts – This is a poor remake of a classic Stephen King horror, we don’t seem to get anything scary like other remakes and end up relying on cheap jump scares to try and maximise the impact.
Overall: Simple lifeless remake.