30 Years of Buried Fright, Now Back From the Dead

The saying “sometimes dead is better” is the best way to describe the wholesome idea of this movie. Stephen King’s novel was originally adapted for the big screen in 1989. It was released on April 21, 1989, and made 57.5 million dollars in box office profit. The 1989 movie adaptation detailed King’s eerie story of a deceased family pet, who came back to life after an accidental death.

This is not just any story about life and the resurrection of pets. After Dr. Louis Creed and his family settle down in their new home in Maine, and their cat is buried in the old abandoned Pet Sematary, tragedy strikes again with the death of Dr. Creed’s son, Gage. Dr. Creed, mourning the death of his son, buries him right along with his pet, overlooking the possible dangers of the burial ground’s powers. Sure enough, in the end, the lives of the taken and the souls of the resurrected terrorized those around them. Faith Jones ‘21 shared, “I do enjoy horror movies to some degree, but once they go too over the top, it is hard to enjoy the actual movie.”

On April 5, 2019, the remake of Pet Sematary was released on the big screens everywhere. It emerged into the horror film industry as a gripping piece of horror entertainment, filled with dark wit and humor, as well as a ghoulish sense of doom. Each turn in the plot is as twisted and cynical as the next, providing the audience with an interesting and unnerving sense of suspense until the end of the film. In the middle of the film, there is a small time period of the slow-moving plotline, precisely placed to build upon the final tragedy of the movie. Abbey Trinidad (’20) shared, “It seemed to slow down towards the middle of the movie, but I figured that it was the build-up to a big ending, and it was worth that small slow down.” This allows for an escalation of fear and uneasiness, without spiraling out of control into either a boring or cheesy horror movie mess.

The 2019 remaster of the classic was more effectively unsettling and focused more on the macabre undertones of death and the character’s emotional trauma. Rotten Tomatoes top critics stated, “Pet Sematary addresses issues of death and our unwillingness to accept it in a fun, frank manner. The dead don’t always have it this good.” As a result, it received an overall 58% on the site. On the other hand, ING Movie Reviews gave it an eight out of ten rating, stating that, “2019’s Pet Sematary is a fun and frightening film — if by fun you enjoy seeing characters go to hell and back. Milena Pulley (‘20) stated, “The reviews on the film are persuasive enough to just make me watch the movie –  if I think I can stomach it.”

The 2019 remake of Stephen King’s classic novel, and the 1989 Mary Lambert movie, has been long awaited. The horror film industry has had a hard time coming back from a few fluke movies that recently have reached theaters. This film has helped to make strides for the horror film community in that it is a great example of how a good horror film can be scary without being unnecessarily gory or having an overpredictible plotline. Going to see Pet Sematary has been proven to be worth the watch, and will keep the audience on the edge of their seats, and a little uneasy going home to their pets.