Review – Pet Sematary (Paramount Pictures)

  • Writing - 5.5/10
  • Directing - 7/10
  • Acting - 7/10
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Pet Sematary

Starring: Jason Clarke, John Lithgow, Amy Seimetz, Jete Laurence, and Hugo Lavoie
Director: Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer
Producer: Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Mark Vahradian, Steven Schneider
Writer: Jeff Buhler
Production Company: Di Bonaventura Pictures
Maturity Rating: R
Release Date: April 5, 2019

When the Creed’s relocate from Boston to rural Maine they soon discover a mysterious pet cemetery not too far from their property. After tragedy strikes the family, they soon fall victim to an ancient evil that lurks beyond the cemetery.


Another Stephen King Adaptation


Pet Sematary is the latest film adaptation from Stephen King, but this is the second adaptation of Pet Sematary. Luckily, this new version offers some changes from its original, but it plays out nearly the same. The film stars Jason Clarke, John Lithgow, Amy Seimetz, Jete Laurence, and Hugo Lavoie. As seen in the trailer, this revamped take on Pet Sematary has one crucial change to it that probably should have been saved for shock value. Directed by Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer, this retelling of King’s terrifying novel from the early ’80s is an entertaining look at what happens when people fail to properly cope with death. 

What’s The Story?

Jeté Laurence in Pet Sematary (2019) Paramount Pictures
Jeté Laurence in Pet Sematary (2019) Paramount Pictures

Pet Sematary follows the Creed family as they relocate from Boston to Maine after Dr. Louis Creed (Clarke) accepts a new position in the area. Shortly after arriving, they soon discover that their property has a mysterious burial ground hidden in the woods. After tragedy strikes the families core, a horrific evil with dire consequences is unleashed on them. For those who have seen the original, this remake will feel like an exact retelling outside of a few major plot changes.

Everyone involved gives it their all in their respective roles, but Clarke and Laurence are the two to watch out for in this chilling movie. At its core, Pet Sematary is an unnerving look at how failure to cope with loss can be detrimental in the long run. Several decisions the characters make may come across as stupid or nonsensical, which many are. However, it all ties back into the theme of failing to cope with loss in a healthy manner.

The Creed’s inability to cope then results in irrational, drastic, and dangerous decisions. Clarke’s heartbreaking performance as Dr. Creed will strike a core with anyone who has endured the grieving process. The decisions made by Creed are irrational, but still understandable to some degree given the circumstances. As heard in the trailer by Jud (Lithgow), sometimes staying dead is better in the end.

Coming 30 years the original film, this modern take on Pet Sematary is an acceptable retelling of one of King’s most horrific novels. The film is slow in its pacing and it takes a while to find its footing but once it does all bets are off. The final act is a rollercoaster ride that centers on a family that has essentially gone to hell.

Final Verdict

Pet Sematary isn’t a poorly executed movie, but it does rely a bit too much on its jump scares. Luckily, the pacing, tone, performances, and atmosphere will keep audiences interested. Clarke’s performance as a distraught parent is uncomfortable but very well done. Visually stunning, and accompanied by a chilling score that will stick with you once the credits roll. Overall, this is a solid take on King’s novel and those who have been through a traumatic tragedy in life will certainly enjoy it. This a frightening film that explores the dangers of not coping with loss.


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