I am definitely setting myself up for some pretty harsh criticism with my next statement, but here goes nothing. Remakes are not even close to as bad of a thing as most horror fans would have you believe. Quite frankly, I have liked the majority of remakes, reboots, and reimaginings that have been produced in the genre over the last decade or so. The latest that I’ve enjoyed quite a bit is Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer’s Pet Sematary.
Dr. Louis Creed and his wife, Rachel, have moved their two young children from Boston to Maine for hopes of a slower and quieter lifestyle. They soon discover a powerful burial ground resides right in their new backyard.
Even though I’ve been writing these little horror reviews for many years now, I don’t spend much time reading what others think of films in too much depth. I see social media posts here and there, the occasional article headline. The popular opinion I’ve seen plastered all over Facebook and the like for this most recent iteration of the Stephen King story, Pet Sematary, is that fans were not all that satisfied with it.
Even still, theses types of rumblings have not swayed my opinion in one direction or the other. I watch films that I want to watch and form my own thoughts about them. My thoughts on this one are that it was pretty damn good.
Pet Sematary features a very talented cast. With the likes of veteran actor John Lithgow (Raising Cain, The Twilight Zone: The Movie) and other talents, Jason Clarke (Lawless, Terminator Genisys) and Amy Seimetz (The Sacrament, Alien: Covenant), I don’t think there is any question as to the effectiveness of the acting on display.
My favorite performance, however, belongs to the young Jeté Laurence (The Ranger). Laurence is beyond impressive in her role as the cute and innocent, Ellie. She is exponentially more impressive, however, once she has returned as a changed version of her former self.
This 2019 version of Pet Sematary may be different from the original film adaptation and it may even be quite different from the original King novel, but is that such a bad thing?
If we were given the same regurgitated take on this story, wouldn’t the same people who are already disappointed be even further agitated?
I feel as though co-directors, Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer (the duo behind 2014’s Starry Eyes), were able to take the original concept created by the legendary horror author and make it into a dreadfully exciting thing for a brand new audience.
There was a sense of underlying dread throughout the entire hour and 40 minutes of runtime. There was never once a break in that tension with out-of-place humor or lighthearted banter. The ideas of death and loss are a huge component of Pet Sematary and its main plot.
We see it in the form of Rachel’s childhood flashbacks, in Louis’ profession as a doctor, and, of course, in the demise and subsequent return of the family cat, Church. These concepts are what heavily weigh down the tone of this film and that is what is felt from beginning to end.
Pet Sematary may not be loved by many, but it is certainly worth your time, in my eyes. It features a brilliantly talented cast, of all ages, a dark and haunting tone throughout, and pretty sweet practical make-up effects when necessary.
Perhaps most horror fans have become jaded. Or maybe it is more appropriate to say that I have become the opposite of jaded, whatever the term for that may be. You have to understand… more often than not, I am watching and reviewing films that are made on a budget of about $10k, movies that look like they could have been filmed in my very own backyard.
I would gladly watch 40 remakes and reboots the caliber of 2019’s Pet Sematary any day of the week. In comparison, although films of that ilk can be fun from time to time, this right here is a cinematic masterpiece.
The home release of Pet Sematary, available now from Paramount Home Entertainment, features a whole slew of bonus content. Included on the 4k UHD HD Combo and Blu-ray combo versions of this title are over 90 minutes of deleted and extended scenes, an alternate ending, and various interviews with cast and crew.
If you are a fan of this flick, like myself, this is material you do not want to miss out on. Buy yourself a copy of Pet Sematary on 4K, Blu-ray, DVD, or Digital HD today!
I give this one 4 Ellie-phant The Great and Terribles out of 5.