Pet Sematary: A Series of Unfortunately Unexplained Events

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Pet Sematary

When sitting down to watch PET SEMATARY, one might reasonably expect an adaptation of the Stephen King novel which, by coincidence, bears the same title. And, to be sure, there is a family who moves into a house behind which there is a pet cemetary. And, yes, there is a patch of land where a cat gets buried who comes back to life.

On the whole of it, it's a somewhat entertaining story, right down to a "Bet you didn't see that coming" ending. But the story of a doctor who believes there is nothing after death, who is then confronted with incontravertible proof that death can be reverse... That's a story that could have been explored with more depth.

Barring that, what we get is a zombie movie about a magical piece of property where whatever you bury comes back to you, but not in any pleasant way. In fact, one woul dthink after the first few dozen times of resurrecting murderous zombies, the appeal would wear off and people would stop doing it. 

So when young Ellie (JETE LAURENCE) loses her cat, why does good-natured neighbor Jud (JOHN LITHGOW) bother showing her father (JASON CLARKE) where the land lies? Well, obviously it's so the doctor knows what to do when his daughter gets hit by one of the speeding trucks that go by the house (we see two of them within the first twenty minutes of the film, so the danger is telegraphed well in advance.

And when Ellie returns from the dead? That's when the killing begins, and the doctor has to contemplate the task of having to put his daughter back in the grave. Which is when things get really interesting...and bloody.

PET SEMATARY opens with a scene of destruction that is clearly the end of the film before the true beginning plays out. However, it does not end on that note, so we don't quite come full circle. The actors all put in serviceable performances, but the bar was set pretty high for even an actor of Lithgow's ability by FRED GWYNNE in the original film.

This is a popcorn horror flick. If you're a hardcore Stephen King fan, it's a novelty but not the book-to-film adaptation you are looking for.

Grade: 
3.0 / 5.0