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Did We Need Another “Pet Sematary?”

Despite being a Stephen King film, “Pet Sanctuary” was not memorable. PHOTO/ Paramount Pictures

By Carmen Saffioti

Published: April 18th, 2019

Stephen King’s horror classic Pet Sematary was adapted, yet again, to the big screen. But just like IT (2017), another remake of an adaption, Pet Sematary is a mediocre pass at King’s literature, and is ultimately is a movie that is both non-scary and two-dimensional.

Pet Sematary follows a family who recently moved to rural Maine, where they discover a mystical burial ground that resurrects the dead. The first adaptation of this movie came in 1989, and honestly it is just as bad, if not worse, than this recent remake. However, the movie became iconic and a point of comparison for the new film, which there are several notable differences. What this new film does better in, however, is addressing the topic of death is a way that is not meant to frighten viewers but rather intrigue them while they watch. Unfortunately, it seems that the writers got carried away with this idea and it is layered on too thick through out the film. 

The 1989 adaptation’s screenplay was written by King and closely resembled the novel. This new adaptation, however, seemed to have more of a life of its own. In this new adaptation it is the daughter, Ellie (Jeté Laurence), who is brought back from the dead. I had a problem with this change for several reasons. Ellie, whose cat Church died and was resurrected, is one of the main characters who has to interact and come to understand death. This is impossible for her to do if she is killed and comes back as a zombie. This is one of the reasons the messaging of this film is off, because instead of seeing how a young character interacts with death in her family– audiences are subjected to corny dialogue especially by the main protagonist Dr. Louis Creed (Jason Clarke).

Another problem of the film is its length at 135 minutes, which is over two hours. This is an incredibly long length especially for a horror movie. Audiences who see this movie in theaters will keep looking at their watch wondering “How much longer?” Finally, what really done this movie in was the acting, which frankly was unconvincing at best. Jason Clarke delivers a flat performance while Amy Seimetz plays a one dimensional horrified wife almost the entire time.

For a Stephen King film, this is definitely not one of the memorable ones. Rather it is simply a passable movie that will be almost completely forgotten by summer.

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