Film: Pet Sematary
Cast: Jason Clarke, Amy Seimetz, John Lithgow, Jete Laurence, Hugo & Lucas Lavoie
Directors: Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer
Rating: * * *
A massive truck zooms down the highway. You, the viewer, are as startled as one of the characters in this film. Expect accidents to happen – and they do, they do – in this scary remake of the 1989 adaptation of Stephen King’s novel Pet Sematary which explores grief, the after-life and the darker issues of the human tendency toward evil.
See, Pet Sematary is definitely not for kids though it has two sweet kids Ellie (Jete Laurence) and Gage (played by Hugo and Lucas Lavoie) who relocate with their medico dad Louis Creed (Jason Clarke) and his wife Rachel (Amy Seimetz) from Boston to rural Maine.
Their new home is adjacent to the titular graveyard as well as as an eerie burial ground in the woods nearby. When their pet tomcat Church is killed in a road accident, genial neighbour Jud Crandall (John Lithgow), intervenes to “help” but a greater tragedy strikes and the old man’s act unleashes greater evil.
Scriptwriter Jeff Buhler builds on the narrative with references to Native American mythology, conversations on the afterlife and flashbacks to childhood traumas of debilitating illness. The scientific-minded doctor’s passage to paranormal votary is not well-etched. For believers like your reviewer, a zombie’s insistence that there is no heaven, only hell, is ludicrous. That said, let me add, the sad, tragic (and gory) deaths and jump scares will keep fans of the genre, thoroughly spooked.