Pet Sematary 1989 Review

Spooky Season is finally here and this year I have no theme, instead I am going to be discussing various horror movies and if I get time a game or two, the first film I want to take a look at is the 1989 film Pet Sematary.

Directed by Mary Lambert and with a screenplay by the books original author Stephen King, Pet Semetary is a movie that after watching I can’t seem to keep off my mind due to its creepy nature.

The Creed family Louis, his wife Rachel and their two children Ellie and Gage are moving to Maine so that Louis can accept his new job as a Physician in the local university.

Upon arriving the dangerous main road with fast lorry drivers passing regularly is shown to be a serious issue, the one neighbour Jud, a kind old man from across the street warns the Creed family to keep an eye on the cat Church as many animals have been killed in the road causing a massive Pet Sematary to built just behind their new home.

Jud takes the family to this sematary and begins explaining to Ellie about death but Rachel reacts negatively to this due to how she witnessed her disabled sister Zelda choking to death after Rachel decided to not help her, Rachel still has PTSD for this and feels guilty for letting her sister die.

When the family cat Church is hit by a truck and dies, Jud takes Louis to bury the cat in an ancient Indian burial ground, everything that is buried here comes back to life which is proven true when Church walks back to the house although seeming a little bit grumpier.

With the burial ground being the main cause of misery in this film then you can technically call this a zombie flick and its one not to disappoint in its creepiness.

The comic relief of the film is the spirit of a young man named Victor Pascal, Louis was a jogger who was killed during his run, before he dies he warns Louis about the pet sematary and even calls him by name even though they have never met.

Throughout the film his ghost comes to Louis and his family multiple times to try and prevent the inevitable but his efforts end up being in vain.

If you thought the death of a cat would be the only major loss in this film then I am afraid that what comes next is truly bone chilling. The family toddler Gage is eventually the next victim of the busy road and after Jud’s many warnings that humans should never be buried in the Pet Sematary and even telling a horrifying tale of a young man who was brought back as a monster, Louis lets his grief get the better of him and he buries Gage hoping to see his son again.

Gage is the second antagonist of the movie after Church the cat although he is most definitely much more dangerous, he is the part of the movie that has stuck with me for so long, I think its the creepy taunts in his childlike voice and the part where he walks with the cane while giggling just gives me the shivers every time I see it ! This is probably the most memorable part of the film but I think that it is also in part that the majority of cast performances are not really that great, its not bad or anything but the main family is quite boring to watch but Brad Greenquist and Fred Gwynne who played Pascal and Jud were very good in their respective roles. Brad was a lot of fun as the comic relief and took a little bit of the edge away from this very dark tale, Fred Gwynne has a very grandfatherly nature to him in this and I very quickly recognised him from his work on the Munster’s playing Herman Munster.

Worth mentioning is the opening of the film, it perfectly sets up the film that comes after it, with the chilling child choir mixed in with the final words children said to their dead pets is actually a good message that saying goodbye should be goodbye, a lesson clearly not learned by Louis Creed who eventually sets up his own demise by not following the rules of life.

Pet Sematary is a pretty messed up movie with an extremely dark premise that I think some people will find a little bit too much at times. I would however recommend it if you enjoy movies with a creepy atmosphere or if you want to see a Stephen King movie as this is one of the better ones in my opinion.

After seeing this I do want to check out the book one day just see if it is just as eerie on paper.

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