“Pet Sematary,” the most recent of a string of Stephen King adaptations, stars Jason Clarke, Amy Siemetz, and Jete Laurence as the Creed Family. After moving into a home in rural Maine, Louis and Rachel Creed discover a mysterious burial ground in the woods surrounding their new home. When they discover that their cat has been killed, their neighbor Jud, played by John Lithgow, takes Louis to the burial ground to bring the cat back to life. But the resurrection certainly would come with consequences.
Jason Clarke is great as always but the standout was the 11 year old actress Jete Laurence who played the daughter Ellie. When a certain story moment occurs for her character and her performance has to take a complete 180, she was believable and haunting at the same time.
Not having seen the previous adaption or read the novel, I had no idea what to expect going into this movie, which certainly helped. The first film is held to a high standard and it seems as though those people weren’t the biggest fans of this movie, but in my case, I enjoyed this more than I thought I would.
This movie deviates from the cliches of modern day horror, where its all so fast moving and the scares just start immediately. This movie was a slower burn, with more of a character driven build up with plenty of exposition, more so than I was expecting. A big problem with horror movies, aside from The Conjuring movies, is that we little to no character development, but this one spent a decent amount of time getting us attached to the characters. It lead to the first act and part of the second act being a little bit slow, with not much going on, but it was necessary world building that needed to be done in order to fit the direction that the movie wanted to go.
Following in a different path from Jordan Peele’s “Us”, the scares in this movie were a different kind. Though the majority of the scares were of the ‘jump’ variety, there were some chilling moments that left me and other members of the audience audibly feeling unsettled.
Where this movie got it right for me was the unsettling nature of scares and the more classic feel versus just jump scares galore. The ending of the movie was certainly surprising but not in a bad way at all.
I’m gonna score Pet Sematary at 7/10