They discover a burial ground on their property which has strange abilities. Without the kind of small details that make these characters come to life, it’s easy to feel that they exist only to be dispatched according to the directors’ whims.
pet cemetery movie review 2019 – Showtimes, Tickets & Reviews
Pet Sematary movie still courtesy of the Concord Monitor. The problems begin for the Creeds when the family pet cat Church comes under a speeding truck. The sight of Louis’s grieving daughter Ellie (Jete Laurence) moves their widower neighbour Jud (John Lithgow), and prompts him to introduce Louis to this burial ground from which dead things (not confined to animals) are reborn.
How will Louis break the bad news to his daughter? Jud (Lithgow) might know a way he won’t have to. Against his better judgment, the old man leads his new neighbor through the forest behind their house, past the official” pet cemetery, and straight to the soil of an ancient Indian burial ground that beckons to the bereaved. For a stretch, Pet Sematary works a familiar slow-burn mojo, skillfully ushering dark clouds over its idyllic setting. The script, by Jeff Buhler, teases out some interesting tensions during the superior first half. Though he insists they discuss death with their kids openly and unromantically, Louis can’t bring himself to tell Ellie the truth about what happened to Church. In linking the horror that follows to that failure of nerve, the film wickedly, hideously distorts an ordinary parental pitfall: sheltering your kids from tough realities.
The Stephen King Renaissance continues! The author probably hasn’t seen this much attention from Hollywood since the boom of King movies in the early ‘80s. With the advances in filmmaking and storytelling in recent years, this is the perfect time for horror, in general, not to mention the undisputed King. To satiate our hunger for his material until It: Chapter Two is released, we get a new film version of his classic novel Pet Sematary.
The entire second half of the film significantly changes the plot of the novel in one specific way: it switches which kid is killed in the road. In the movie, Ellie — Louis’ daughter — is hit by a truck when she sees her cat, Church, back from the dead in the middle of the road. But, in the book, Ellie is actually the only member of the family who survives. Instead, Gage, the younger brother, is the child who dies in the book. And it’s Gage who Louis takes to the Little God Swamp to bring him back from the dead.
Directed by Dennis Widmyer and Kevin Kölsch, best known for the 2014 Hollywood horror-satire Starry Eyes, this April 5 film is the latest in a resurgence of King adaptations to follow the monstrous success of last year’s It. Like that tale of Pennywise and the Losers, Pet Sematary is not just based on a best-selling novel but also has an earlier screen adaptation, from 1989, that still leaves a cold spot in the hearts of fans.
Paramount Pictures has released the second official trailer for its upcoming horror tentpole Pet Sematary ,” and it confirms the new film from directors Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer will fundamentally change the entire story Stephen King wrote for his 1983 novel of the same name. In King’s novel, the Creed family gets the shock of a lifetime when their dead three-year-old toddler Gage is resurrected and returns home. The film, however, has made a strategic choice to kill the Creed’s young eight-year-old daughter Ellie, played by Jeté Laurence, instead.
The evil force in The Devil’s Candy, as the title implies, is much more Biblical in nature than the wendigo in Pet Sematary, but the parallels should be obvious. Also, in The Devil’s Candy there’s no hint of resurrection, only the threat of death and the possibility of Hell.
Stephen King wrote the original book and then the screenplay for the 1989 version and I think conclusively answered the question of why so many of King’s great books have turned into such crappy movies. A two-hour or less film simply doesn’t have room for all the great characterization and back story that makes Stephen King who he is and lesser writers who they are. Strip all of that away and you are left with plotting which can be rather pedestrian.
Like the 1989 original, this version fails to understand what makes King’s book so scary. It’s not that people come back from the dead as murderous zombies, it’s that a father’s grief could push him to making that happen. Leaning so hard into the overt horror elements turns a dark, emotional story into something onenote and little basic.
I’m fond of King’s novel, which was the first of considerable length I ever read (my mother didn’t seem to mind that, while my friends were devouring Beverly Cleary, her 10-year-old was reading King). The 1989 film adaptation was The Exorcist for my generation, a movie my classmates were too afraid to openly discuss; reports that kids were crying as they fled the Maui Theater during screenings only added to the lore… and reminded me that, like the Creeds, parents sometimes do very stupid things. Like, for example, take their children to horror movies (seriously folks, just don’t do it).
In an alternate ending released on home media, Louis spares Ellie instead of killing her, and they both bury Rachel behind the Pet Sematary, promising that they will be a family together forever. After burning Jud’s house, Louis and Ellie approach the family car, where Gage is still locked in. In the house, Ellie, Church and a newly resurrected Rachel approach and reunite with an unhappy Louis holding Gage, who is crying.
We empathize with the abused and bullied Carrie White (Sissy Spacek), and when she finally loses control, instead of fear, we feel an overwhelming sense of pity for the girl. Kubrick drew the ire of Stephen King with his adaptation of The Shining.” The adaptation often feels distant and cold, but the artistic talent on display overcomes the narrative shortcomings. Kubrick had no need for jump scares, rather the atmosphere that he slowly and confidently developed throughout the movie exploded into a memorable display of an unleashed Jack Nicholson.
And then the incident doesn’t happen until one hour into the movie’s 101-minute running time. So where’s the sense of doom? The only thing the audience is doing is waiting for an incident they know will happen, with the trailer going one step further and showing Ellie hasn’t come back as Ellie.
The third act is drastically altered from King’s novel. Surprisingly, it’s a real step up, as it extends the horrific implications of King’s scenario. Like the climax of The Mist (another great King adaptation), the punishing but clever third act takes this as far as it could go.
In the movie: Jud tells Ellie his wife died some time ago. We wind up seeing her near the movie’s end, but as a demon who briefly takes over the undead Ellie to go after her husband. Q: I want to know why Stephen King’s “Pet Sematary” is spelled with an S instead of a C.
The Devil’s Candy, written and directed by Sean Byrne, is another movie about a father (Ethan Embry) who moves with his wife (Shiri Appleby) and daughter (Kiara Glasco) into a rural house and finds the area infested with evil. Embry’s character Jesse Hellman is a struggling artist, and in this new setting his paintings suddenly spring to life with a dark, visibly Satanic influence. The creepy things he paints are nothing, however, compared to the actions of Ray Smilie (Pruitt Taylor Vince) a hulk of a man who kills children to feed them to the Devil, and who used to live in the same house. When the same force that’s begun corrupting Jesse also leads Ray back to the house, and to Jesse’s daughter, the Hellman family has to struggle to escape with both their lives and their souls.
King has gone on record claiming that Pet Sematary” was one of the scariest books he wrote — seemed to hit home with him for some reason. With dozens of books to his credit, and with all manner of creepy and horrific tales he spun, I find it odd he should be so affected. It’s a simple story of demonic possession that takes over a pet or person’s return from death. The sacred burial grounds have been there for a very long time in which a demonic presence is able to return its recently buried recipients, but as murderous ghouls. It’s myth only known by those who have seen it happen, located in a remote, wooded region of Maine, which is where Louis (Jason Clarke), his wife Rachel (Amy Seimetz), 9-year-old daughter, Ellie (Jete Laurence) and 3-year-old Gage have moved from Boston.
1922, a Netflix film directed by Zak Hilditch, is the only movie on this list adapted from other work by the original author of Pet Sematary, horror legend Stephen King. It stars Thomas Jane as Wilfred James, a farmer who decides to murder his wife Arlette (Molly Parker) and convinces his teenage son Henry (Dylan Schmid) to help. Once Arlette is dead and buried in the well, everything spirals downward for Wilfred. He’s haunted figuratively by guilt-stricken Henry’s choice to run away and pursue a life of crime with his girlfriend Shannon (Kaitlyn Bernard), and haunted literally by the ghost of Arlette. As Wilfred’s life spirals downhill, his house becomes infested with rats, which in turn infect his body through a terribly infected bite.
The scenes that are replicated from the book are polished and creepy. Kölsch and Widmyer use just enough gore during the death of Victor Pascow to drive home how upsetting this experience was for Louis — to paraphrase one of the nurses, I could see Pascow’s brains. Other moments deploy familiar and underwhelming cliches, like indistinct whispers from the woods or Gage’s crayon drawing of sinister stick-figure dripping blood. Trucks speeding by with a blaring sound effect account for three separate jump scares. In general, these felt more like check marks than strong atmospheric enhancements.
Pet Sematary” tells the story of a family who recently moved from their Boston home to rural Maine. Their new home comes with many acres of land, and on that land they find a mysterious cemetery that is dedicated to the deceased pets of nearby residents. As time goes on, the family eventually discovers that there is more to this cemetery than meets the eye, as the deceased that are buried there always return to life in some horrific manner.
It’s not much of a spoiler to say that the day of Church’s demise comes sooner than she thinks, and Jud’s affection for her and her family is what motivates him to show Louis the Mi’kmaq burial ground beyond the deadfall, where things that are gone can sometimes come back.
Paramount’s ” Pet Sematary ” is finally in theaters and it’s very different from the Stephen King book you may remember. Even if it wasn’t any good, Pet Sematary’s sort of a must watch given how heavily it’s been referenced in the film and television industries since. But it is good, so there’s that too.
This fresh take on Pet Sematary makes a slew of late-breaking choices to diverge from the previous attempt and from the source material, none of which are actually improvements (which doesn’t change the fact that, fumbled onscreen or not, King’s fevered premise remains thoroughly terrifying). What the new movie does do, in sometimes accidentally amusing ways, is throw its main character’s pursuit of simple living into starker relief; it becomes the story of a man’s increasingly disturbing attempts to spend more time with his family.
With any King adaptation comes the age-old debate about “unadaptable” books. Many of Stephen King’s best works have been branded as such – and many have been adapted anyway, sometimes successfully (see: IT, The Shining, Gerald’s Game ). Pet Sematary is widely regarded as one of King’s most twisted. Not only does the pet die, but he kills off a child too, its return even more gruesome than its death. It’s not a film adaptation’s job to be note-perfect (the film and book versions of The Shining are almost two separate entities), and Pet Sematary takes plenty more liberties than just switching up who gets offed first, so the end actually turns out to be a particularly sinister surprise. But if a movie wholly disregards what makes the source material so effective in the first place, if it’s not willing to manipulate its audience into loving its doomed characters before it takes them away from us, then maybe – to paraphrase Jud Crandall – sometimes unadapted is better.
The editing is occasionally a problem, as the first act is too tight and a few subplots are malnourished (we’re left to guess the origin of the fire that bookends the film). A few familiar and overdone horror tropes surface, though the screenplay (by Jeff Buhler and Matt Greenberg) finds ample opportunities to add another twisted detail. There’s a bathtub scene (and a moment in bed that follows it) that couldn’t possibly be more unsettling. Then there’s the final moment, a disturbing, punishing closer that firmly emphasizes what King’s story truly is – an American gothic and a tragedy.
On his first day at work, Louis encounters Victor Pascow, a jogger who has been mortally injured after being hit by a truck. He warns Louis about the pet cemetery before he dies, calling Louis by name despite the fact they have not previously met. That night, Pascow comes to Louis as a ghost and leads him to the Pet Sematary, warning him not to cross the barrier because the ground beyond is “sour”. Louis awakens, assuming it was a dream, but notices his feet are covered in dirt.
That would be fine for the movie if it opened in the same way too, but it doesn’t. Instead the cold open hints that bad things have happened at the Creed house without making it clear that either of the children had died. Ellie (Jeté Laurence) in Pet Sematary.
And accidental death to Ellie springs things into action when Louis, acting from great remorse over his daughter’s death, removes her from her grave and buries her in the pet cemetery, wanting her to return for some last loving moments. Well, that backfires — like, duh…and the evilness inside her turns to hideous violence. The end of this film has a grave (pun intended) message…don’t mess around with the dead because those who stand in the way are asking for trouble.
In the book: When Church returns home, a lot of talk is made over how he doesn’t smell and feel right. Ellie’s turned off by her cat right away. The cat hisses and starts killing animals to eat, but never harms anyone. Louis remarks that while Church resembles the family’s cat, that resemblance only goes as far as looks.
Louis and Rachel Creed (Jason Clarke, Amy Seimetz) have left the fast life of Boston behind to move to rural Ludlow, Maine, bringing along their two children, eight-year-old daughter Ellie (Jete Laurence) and toddler son Gage. Their new farmhouse is beautiful and idyllic, despite being on a two-lane highway where semi-trucks speed past on a regular basis.
After directing the original Pet Sematary film , Mary Lambert released a sequel that’s messy, corny, and devoid of genuine scares. Structurally, the script represents the major weak spot, as Stephen King’s original tale was superseded by screenwriter Richard Outten’s take. In retrospect, Pet Sematary II has nostalgic appeal with its overt camp and dated visual effects. As a whole, though, Pet Sematary II is the least effective of the franchise films.
Let me start out by saying while I am a huge fan of horror movies and Stephen King’s work, I’ve never seen the original Pet Sematary” film from 1989 or read the book. Even so, I would have to imagine they must’ve been better than the 2019 remake to gain such popularity.
Without going into too many spoilers here, there’s good reason for certain events to happen to one character instead of another, and it has nothing to do with tricking the viewer. Quite the opposite. The change actually makes complete sense, when you track who’s having the most potent conversations about death in both the novel and the film before everything goes south. The alteration allows this new adaptation to explore the topic in a deeper, more visceral fashion than the source material.
Daddy?” Ellie said from the back seat. She had stopped crying as well. Even Gage had stopped fussing. Louis savored the silence. The revived Church is violent toward the Creed family. Of course both movies are based on the horror novel by Stephen King.
Assessing the overall value of a horror movie is easy. Basically, how scary is it? There are other factors to consider (intent, theme, production values, performances, sustained tension, etc) but really, when you get down to it, did the movie achieve its most transparent goal of unnerving its audience? I will admit that, in addition to losing sleep after seeing it, the new Pet Sematary truly frightened me. Consider that a hearty recommendation for those who love horror movies and a severe warning for those who don’t.
One criticism I have is the length of time Pet Sematary takes to get to the great climax. Or, more correctly, the amount of time it feels like it takes to get there. I’ve always been a vocal proponent for the slow burn film, one that takes its time to tell the story, one that doesn’t feel the need to rush the proceedings. Yet, there’s slow burn and there’s halting to a crawl. This film is only an hour-forty, but it feels like it runs two hours.
The remake deviates from the original film by killing off the couple’s older daughter Ellie (Jeté Laurence) instead of infant son Gage (Hugo Lavoie and Lucas Lavoie). The movie treats this like a big twist — even using a bit of cheap misdirection that is more likely to work on people who have seen the first film — but if you’ve seen the advertising campaigns you know it’s coming. From there the movie tries to be a parable based on its tagline, “Dead is better” — namely, that there are fates worse than dying or surviving a loved one’s death. It’s a deviation from the original, but not a real difference, since the end result is the same: Creed and his wife Rachel (Amy Seimetz) struggle with realizing that the entities in their children’s bodies are not actually their kids. As with the first film, the creepiest and most emotionally moving scenes are the ones in which the parents are simultaneously creeped out and emotionally manipulated by their newly-undead pseudo-progeny.
This would make an intriguing (if exhausting) double feature with Jordan Peele’s Us, another gruesomely imaginative horror film about sinister doubles within an American family. While Pet Sematary lacks a sense of humor and Peele’s more playful approach, it’s much scarier than Us. Horror fans, brace yourselves. For everyone else, enjoy Captain Marvel.
When it comes to recent King adaptations, Pet Sematary isn’t as good or scary as It: Chapter One, but it’s better in a lot of ways than the previous adaptation. So, if you can get through the slow middle section, you will be rewarded with a killer ending.
Dr. Louis Creed (Jason Clarke), who, after relocating with his wife Rachel (Amy Seimetz) and their two young children from Boston to rural Maine, discovers a mysterious burial ground hidden deep in the woods near the family’s new home.