4
Apr
2019
0
Pet Sematary

Pet Sematary

Dr. Louis Creed (Jason Clarke) is an ER doctor who relocates to the countryside to spend more time with his family. Bringing wife Rachel (Amy Seimetz), son Gage (Lucas Lavoie) and daughter Ellie (Jeté Laurence) with him, tragedy strikes when their family Church cat is found dead by the road. Following the advice of kindly neighbour Jud Crandall (John Lithgow), Louis buries Church in the a nearby pet cemetery in the woods. However, the very next morning Church the cat returns to the family home and he is not same he was before…

...follows the path of its 1980’s predecessor with modern, competent flair...

2019’s ‘Pet Sematary’ follows the path of its 1980’s predecessor with modern, competent flair, if only to hug the original’s storyline a little too tightly. One half of an absorbing horror, this remake’s real strengths lie in its build-up. Introducing the ever excellent John Lithgow as well-meaning Jud and Jason Clarke as the increasingly haunted Louis, both actors for make a plausible pairing as the inevitable dread escalates.

Rich in cinematography and direction, ‘Pet Sematary’ is a remake that sadly runs out of both time and interest in its closing act. Leaning heavily on Jeté Laurence’s rasping performance Ellie, the shadows of The Exorcist’s Regan McNeill envelop her characterisation to the point of distraction. None of this touches Jason Clarke’s Louis though, who travels from agnostic to believer-in-magic at the convenience of the plot. Tossed in for good measure, Amy Seimetz’s Rachel has hallucinations of her own to contend with, neither of which are ever really relevant to the main story.  As with many cinematic adaptations of Stephen King’s, the past sins and transgressions of his characters manifest themselves in present day horrors, however this is no ‘The Shining’, ‘Christine’ or ‘Carrie’.

By its end, this new version of ‘Pet Sematary’ closes with an almost inverse ending to Jordan Peele’s imaginative ’Us’. Losing the visceral creepiness of its 1980’s original for higher production values and a few notable acting exceptions, this is one remake that is unlikely to resurrect itself for long.

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