Movie Review – Pet Sematary (2019)
Earlier this week I posted my book review of Pet Sematary by Stephen King, so today we’ll be exploring the movie remake made this year.
Usually when I read a book, if there’s a movie version out, I like to watch it afterwards. Not to give it a scathing review, mind you, but rather to see if there is still some merit in the movie.
I’m not one of those people that believe a movie must reflect the novel it’s based on directly, though I do prefer it to follow it to a certain degree. Sometimes new creativity can come from the filmmakers that is refreshing, exciting, and new.
So what was the new Pet Sematary like? Did it live up to the novel’s eerie ambience? Let’s find out!
Dr. Louis Creed and his wife, Rachel, relocate from Boston to rural Maine with their two young children. The couple soon discover a mysterious burial ground hidden deep in the woods near their new home.
I wanted to love this movie, really I did. But when all was said and done, I felt kind of ambivalent about its performance, leaving me disappointed.
Don’t get me wrong, this wasn’t a total failure, I just didn’t like certain liberties the filmmakers made.
Despite my feelings on this movie, they really did a good setup at the beginning.
The Creed family moves to Ludlow for the husband Louis’s new job and discover the Pet Sematary behind their house as well as how dangerous the road ahead of their house is. Talk about being surrounded by disaster.
I really did enjoy Louis’s familial interactions. They did feel like a family to me on the screen. They even delved into Rachel’s (the wife) deep fear of death relating to her sister’s demise and really fleshed it out. The grandparents weren’t really much of a factor in the movie, which I can see would save some airtime on the movie.
However, I didn’t really feel the deep comradery between Louis and Jud, his neighbor. It simply wasn’t there, not enough at least. On the other hand, Pascow’s spiritual presence to Louis was really present, and I did like that.
Anywho, something terrible happens soon, prompting Jud to help Louis out by taking him to the Pet Sematary. However, right when they’re about to bury this individual, Jud hears some creepy whispers and suggests they go further.
This is where things begin to fall apart for me. In this movie, the concept of the Micmac burial ground where dead things buried come to life is that anything resurrected is basically pure evil. That is far from true in the book, but that’s not what upset me.
Why would Jud suggest burying the individual in the Micmac burial ground knowing it would come back as an evil thing? Later on, he says that the power of the area drove him to it, and while that is a factor even in the book, I don’t believe that poor excuse for a second. Evil voice thingies in your ear aren’t going to override your basic judgment.
Hmm, resurrect someone your family loves into something pure evil?
The obvious answer is no, all caps.
From there, things continue to get worse. There’s a death of someone very close to Louis (trying not to spoil as best I can), which prompts him to go back beyond the Pet Sematary. Once again I’m going to point out that this makes no sense, especially if the burial grounds only bring back evil.
After that, the entire family is thrust into danger as this individual reeks havoc on them, ending as you could guess, in tragedy. I really did not enjoy the ending, but that’s just me.
Also, I didn’t like that this movie tried to make Louis the good guy, like things are just happening to him and he’s just doing his best to correct things. But um… he literally caused all of this. He is the problem, and you can’t deny that. It should’ve been more about his descent into madness if you ask me.
Ultimately, this movie attempted to simplify some of the concepts from the novel and make things very straight forward, but ultimately it fell flat and uninspired in my personal opinion. Also, some of the changes simply didn’t make enough sense to justify changing them in the first place.
While Pet Sematary may send a chill down your spine, the film leaves this audience member feeling unfulfilled and wanting some of his time back. That’s why I’m giving this movie a 5.5/10.
Sorry, not sorry.
Well that’s it for this movie review. I hope you enjoyed your brief visit here.
Have you seen this movie? Did you love it? Hate it?
Feel free to tell me your opinion in the comments, and happy watching!
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I agree with your review. Louis is the bad guy, I don’t know why he’s depicted as anything else. I didn’t understand why the revived were viewed with such fear from the beginning. Who wouldn’t be happy to see their loved one returned? I also didn’t like the depiction of the sisters illness. I understand the mother found it difficult when she was a child but had she no compassion? No understanding of her sisters suffering? No love? And Louis and the neighbors friendship was done very badly.
Yeah, overall this was a big flop for me. Glad I’m not alone.
The first version of the movie was disappointing (not TERRIBLE for its time, but disappointing), so I wasn’t interested in seeing this one. Sounds like I made a wise choice.
You definitely did make the right choice! Congrats lol
Pet Sematary isn’t the worst film I’ve seen this year, but there’s no getting around that it’s pretty bad. There are some aspects I found interesting, but in the wake of Us, it feels very behind the times. The main characters splitting up when there’s a demon child running around is something you’d seldom see in parodies because of how contrived it is.
Yeah, I just didnt enjoy it all that much. On to the next movie!
Its critical reception actually had a pretty interesting trajectory in that it was acclaimed when it debuted at South by Southwest. When it got a wide release, however, its score ended up taking when neither critics nor the general populace ended up liking it all that much. The second wave got it right because this film made way too many mistakes.
Hmm very interesting!
Although now that I think about it, it seems like a reoccurring criticism of these Steven King adaptations is that they try to translate medium-exclusive ideas into film. Would you say that’s true of this one? Judging by what you’re saying, it sounds as though that is indeed the case.
I mean, I think any idea can be translated to film well, it just depends on production. This is a case where the filmmakers got a little too creative and screwed it up if you ask me.