The anticipated remake of the classic horror film and novel, “Pet Sematary” was released on Friday, April 5 with average reviews. The film grossed $25 million it’s opening weekend within expectations. The film was expected to scare audiences just like the original film but with a new twist.
“Pet Sematary” is based on Stephen King’s 1983 classic scary novel and its adapted screenplay for the 1989 film. The latest iteration is now in theaters but has been changed to give audiences a fresh scare.
Death is the main theme that is echoed throughout the film and was introduced early on. Ellie Creed (Jete Laurence) and her mother Rachel Creed (Amy Seimetz) are unpacking, they see a group of local kids having a burial ceremonial march into the forest behind their new home.
These kids intrigue Ellie but her mother convinces her to ignore it. Ellie, not being able to, sneaks off while Rachel is distracted and ends up in the pet sematary. There she meets Jud (John Lithgow), their new neighbor that explains that the pet sematary are where locals bury their pets. He subtly explains that there is nothing beyond the pet sematary and she must never go beyond the sematary.
Everything seems to be going well in the Creed household until Louis Creed (Jason Clarke) finds Ellies beloved cat Church, dead on the sidewalk, by the passing trucks on the road. Louis wants to explain to Ellie that her cat died unexpectedly but Rachel, traumatized by the death of her sick sister and the guilt she feels over it, does not want to explain to Ellie anything about death. Jud having experienced something like this before guides Louis to a “special” burial ground behind the pet sematary.
The next morning Church is at home again but she is not the same cat she was before. The death of Church is the heart of the film. Her death is what sets forth the events that destroy the Creed family.
The film is different from the original film because, in the original, the audience sees the death of the son Gage, and the events that transpire because of his death. In this remake, the audience is shown the death of Ellie, who was killed the same way Gage was killed in the original film.
The films change from the original did not change the series of events that transpired after, but it did make for a scarier film. The idea of having a dead 2-year-old come back to life like it did the original film, is scary but having an older fully formed child, like Ellie, come back from the dead is a more credible threat.
Overall, the film had good acting, good story development and it was scary in the sense that death is imminent. It is something that is unavoidable. But when a mysterious burial ground that brings back those who are buried in it is thrown into the mix, it makes it a scarier thought.