Title – Pet Sematary (2019)
Directors – Kevin Kölsch & Dennis Widmyer (Starry Eyes)
Cast – Jason Clarke, Amy Seimetz, John Lithgow, Jeté Laurence
Plot – Maine resident Dr. Louis Creed (Clarke) and his family quickly discover that their new house close to the woods is surrounded by some dark and powerful magic centred around a local pet cemetery.
“Sometimes, dead is better”
Review by Eddie on 16/07/2019
As a first port of call it’s only fair that I share a cinema sin of mine.
I have never actually seen the much talked about 1989 original Pet Sematary that so many have watched as part of the cinematic education, so watching Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer new take on the classic Stephen King tale of evil cats, sinister children and ancient dark magic was done on my behalf with fresh and unknowing eyes.
Without being able to make comparisons directly to the original King novel or the late 80’s film offering, I can safely say this modern day take on the story of Jason Clarke’s kindly Maine Dr. Louis Creed experiencing some extremely odd happenings when his family move into their new rural home is a tame, energy free and curiously scare free affair that feels like it will fail to inspire much enthusiasm from fans of King’s work or those seeking a solid horror fix.
The groundwork is quite clearly laid down before Kölsch and Widmyer to delve into but this charisma free offering that does nothing outside of the horror trope 101 rule-book fails to captivate us in its creepy exploration of loss and death that could’ve and should’ve been a skin crawling experience that burrows deep into the subconscious.
It’s a kooky tale, right up there with some of the most bonkers of King’s career but this version of Pet Sematary feels flat from the get-go and as we are just asked to accept the casual going’s about of raised from the dead cats and local children providing ritualistic burials of dead pets, it’s hard to get on board with much of what takes place and as the plot line becomes more and more over the top and really rather silly as this wannabe creep fest loses steam well before its final curtain call.
Also working against the films generic conception is the fact we never build much of a strong relationship with Creed and his family, that includes rather forgettable performances from its four leads that includes John Lithgow as nice old neighbor Jud, Amy Seimetz as Creeds wife Rachel and Jeté Laurence as their eldest child Ellie and as Pet Sematary relies heavily on us caring for this family and what occurs to them, much of the tension is pulled out from under the film before any of the real nefarious happenings start taking place.
In the rushed feeling film its likely you’ll walk away from proceedings feeling as though the multitude of feline’s that were used to play key film player Church were the films real MVP’s, a nice bonus for the film but an indictment on an otherwise completely forgettable experience that offers nothing of note for viewers to remember or truly enjoy.
Final Say –
A by the numbers affair that neither scares, intrigues or captivates, Pet Sematary is another unfortunate member of the rubbish Stephen King adaptations that are littered throughout cinema history and another 2019 horror letdown.
1 ½ roadside birthday party out of 5