Pet Sematary – A Movie Review

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By Evan Mason | emason3@radford.edu

The newly released Pet Sematary is an adaptation of Stephen King’s novel and a reboot of the film from 1989. Although the remake of the film comes with good intentions, the film might have been better off dead.

Directed by Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer, Pet Sematary takes no time in crossing into the realm of evil, as a family moves into their new home, Louis, the husband and a doctor; Rachel, the mom; and their kids Ellie and Gage. What should be a fresh start for the family is a spiral into death and darkness.

The plot moves forward towards an unsettling end with each twist and turns as the movie addressed themes of life and death.

Louis (Jason Clarke) performs at being a god and cheating death. His character is played well and shows a man who wants to be in control and believes that he is in control because he doesn’t believe in an afterlife or the supernatural due to being a doctor and believing in science and logic.

(Left to Right) John Lithgow (Jud) and Jeté Laurence (Ellie)

His relatable choices lead him to despair and lead him down a path that despite being wrong makes you sympathize with him. His wife Rachel (Amy Seimetz) is haunted by a tragic past that continues to affect the present. Her role seems more of a supporting role that appears to be there to add to the theme of the movie more than anything.

The film holds your attention by incorporating tense scenes from the start, and an unending sense of dread as the plot takes darker and darker turns. What makes the film work is the strong acting and character development, with in-depth stories to carry them along, which feels how a real family would act and react to a tragedy.Her story didn’t seem to have an overall resolution. It left me wanting something more satisfying.

Ellie (Jeté Laurence) stands out in the more intense later half of the movie despite being a young actress. It just further proves that kids can be creepy.

Jud Crandall (John Lithgow) leads Louis down the dark path he takes sympathetically and regretfully. Lithgow excels at being kindhearted and thoughtful, but also dark and menacing at times. I could never tell if I wanted to trust him or not.

The movie is a story of tragedy.

The film holds your attention by incorporating tense scenes from the start, and an unending sense of dread as the plot takes darker and darker turns. What makes the film work is the strong acting and character development, with in-depth stories to carry them along, which feels how a real family would act and react to a tragedy.

Towards the end, I couldn’t help but feel like there was going to be more, or there was a twist that hadn’t yet happened and that left me feeling a bit anti-climatic.

Photo Credit: (Pet Sematary the movie)

The Verdict
  • 6.5/10
    Pet Sematary - 6.5/10
6.5/10

Dead Things Should Stay Dead

I enjoyed the film for the deeper themes, acting, character development, and I appreciate some of the more tense parts of the movie that made me feel a little uncomfortable. The themes are what seem to make the movie work, like how death is sometimes the better option. That gets incorporated in a lot of different ways in the movie but can be applied to real life as well, because there are some things worse than death.