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Film Review: Pet Sematary (2019) - It Should be Buried in the Pet Cemetery

Updated: Nov 9, 2023

FILE PHOTO: A Poster of PET SEMATARY (2019). ©Paramount Pictures Corporation
FILE PHOTO: A Poster of PET SEMATARY (2019). ©Paramount Pictures Corporation

"Sometimes remade is better?"

It is a tagline of this film promotion. On the contrary, this film is turned out to be unsuccessful even in the ''Eastern Hollywood'' Hong Kong. It only hit international box office record of ten million dollars out of the production cost twenty million dollars in both US and Canada.

Pet Sematary (1989) was an alternative to Romero zombie films and pretty successful in terms of box office record. It is a psychological zombie drama when a tragic family who lost their child and a pet finds a magical burial ground where buried dead bodies reanimated according to the fictional Micmac Indian tale.

FILE PHOTO: A Poster of PET SEMATARY (1989). ©Paramount Pictures Corporation
FILE PHOTO: A Poster of PET SEMATARY (1989). ©Paramount Pictures Corporation

Pet Sematary (2019) should be focused on psychological aspect of the main characters. The family including the doctor/protagonist Louis Creed (Jason Clarke), his wife Rachel Creed (Amy Seimetz), his daughter Ellie Creed (Jeté Laurence) and his son Gage Creed (Hugo Lavoie).

Major problems of this film

First, this film's ridiculous even in the dead movies. It's scaring effect is heavily depended on jump scares that endlessly overused in SAW series (2004-2017) and Ju-On series (1998-2020) in the past. It is a mechanical method to scare people with jump cuts and heavy sound effects.

As Christopher Lee pointed out that creating horrific atmosphere with imprecations is the best way of horror film's artistic practice. In this film, the killer dump truck rapidly move into frame with heavy horn noises, Rachel Creed's sister Zelda Goldman's evil ghost suddenly appears in the food carrying path in the house.

Second, it is too easy to summon the ghosts in the film. As if ghost is an ordinary existence in the film's everyday life. This mistake is also done in the remade version of IT (2017). For example, Victor Pascow is mutilated by a car accident and the doctor Louis Creed failed to save him, then the ghost of Victor Pascow appears just after his death in front of him. It's too easy to show ghosts in the film.

The biggest flaw in the film is that illogical involvements of Victor Pascow's ghost, the evil spirit of Zelda Goldman and the neighbour Jud Crandall (John Lithgow)'s deceased wife Norma Crandall (Suzy Stingl).

Especially Jud Crandall and Victor Pascow guiding Louis Creed to the Indian burial ground is self-contradicted that they should not have informed the protagonist the existence of the cursed burial ground that animates dead to get the living.

''The Ocean is dying... the plankton is dying...the Pet Sematary zombie is made out of the people.''

Highly not recommended.


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