That delicious discomfort that drives us to watch scary movies! Hey, it’s a Stephen King story. Which means Pet Sematary has plenty of creepy elements to make an audience tingle with uneasiness.
Weird noises. Flickering lights. Doors that shouldn’t be opened but are opened anyway. Haunting flashbacks. A gory injury. A mysterious neighbor. And the discovery that a new home is nearby to a pet cemetery with a misspelled sign.
As with the recent film Us, a family unit of mom, dad, daughter and son pulls into a new house where all seems idyllic. Also, as in Us, the mom has dark memories of a frightening episode of her life.
Louis (Jason Clarke) and Rachel (Amy Seimetz) are parents to Ellie (Jeté Laurence) and Gage (Hugo and Louie Lavoie). The crusty neighbor is Jud (John Lithgow).
The new home is on the edge of the woods, on the edge of a small town in Maine. In short order, Ellie takes a walk into the woods to check out the pet cemetery and the strange wall of tree branches where she has her first encounter with Jud.
When the family’s cat dies, Jud leads Louis to a burial ground beyond that wall. The cat’s interment sets off the events that lead to some grisly outcomes.
Does Pet Sematary break new ground in filmmaking? No. But co-directors Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer have constructed an entertaining 100 or so minutes of scary, suspenseful storytelling. And it’s always fun to see John Lithgow onscreen.
Don’t expect a revelation. Or a classic. But the newest version of this Pet Sematary, sourced from Stephen King’s book, is good, creepy fun.