Movie Review: ‘Pet Semetary’

April 6, 2019 at 8:01 pm | Posted in Movies, Reviews | Leave a comment

The remake of Pet Sematary is interesting. On one hand, it’s a remake of the original, which was actually a really good movie. On the other hand, it’s a different take on the story. The plot elements play out differently enough that this is a different experience. In that way, it’s also made specifically for those who have seen the original as some of the big moments are deliberately played out the same, then twist in a different direction in order to surprise those viewers.

For horror fans, it’s an enjoyable flick. The casting is great and everyone does a good job with their parts. Especially Jeté Laurence who plays the daughter, Ellie. There’s a good, creepy resonance throughout the film and it stays on track pretty well. It doesn’t rely on jump scares, but instead builds creepy scenes to spook you out. The ending fits in with that overall theme to make a good horror experience. If you haven’t seen the original, and you see this one first, I imagine you’ll enjoy it a lot. I’m going to go into spoilers from here, so stop at your own peril.

Now for some spoilers for those who have seen it and the original. This movie does play out differently. The child that dies in the original is flipped in this one, which is nice as it creates a new experience. The focus in this film is also tighter than the original. This version doesn’t explore the tense relationship between the father and his in-laws, so the brawl in the funeral home doesn’t happen. The climatic ending is also new. In the original, the father plays the wacked out nut who tries to bring everyone back, despite how wrong everything goes. That agency is taken away from him and given to someone else, which leads to a very different ending. Interestingly enough, the kept the whole weird sister who haunts the mom. They also avoided doing much of anything with the wendigo, which seemed like a missed opportunity to me. One other shortcoming was that John Lithgow’s Jud was not as homey and welcoming as Fred Gwynne.

With that in mind, I really do think the original is better. The characters are explored a bit more, which puts you more in their shoes and makes the whole thing more frightening and tragic. However, I appreciate that the filmmakers for this one made the experience different and kept in mind that some people would be going in having seen the original already, thus this film still works in that perspective. But, in the end, I think the best movie is going to be the one you see first, which could go either way depending which you choose. It’s possible the original could still win out, but I think the element of surprise is going to give one or the other the winning hand. In my case it certainly has nothing to do with nostalgia as I’ve only seen the original once, and that was just last year. Personally, I think it stood up great despite the passing of time. Regardless, I’d give the new version of Pet Sematary a three and a half out of five metal bikinis. It’s good, it’s scary, but I wouldn’t call it a new classic.

Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.
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