Monday, April 8, 2019

(Spoilers!) Pet Sematary (2019) Movie Review



Pet Sematary (2019)
⭐/5


Contains Major Spoilers

Before watching Pet Sematary, I was thrilled and excited that they (Paramount) were finally making a new adaption of Stephen King's scariest novel. Although the 1989 film is praised by horror fans, it was time to retell the story. The new Pet Sematary film definitely leaves the campy vibes the first adaption contained on the chopping block, and amplify the gore and the horror.

Pet Sematary, directed by Dennis Widmyer and Kevin Kolsch (Starry Eyes) is about a Doctor named Louis Creed (Jason Clarke) who moves his family from the busy and loud life in Boston to a more obscured and timid paced, quiet town of Ludlow, Maine. After a tragedy strikes to Ellie Creed's (Jete Laurence) cat Church, neighbor Jud Crandall (John Lithgow) tells Louis about an ancient burial beyond what the local kids call Pet Sematary. The ground believed to be cursed by a Wendigo reanimates dead things and brings them back. Soon Louis will have to decide if death is really better.

Where do I start? This movie made me feel uncomfortable, nervous, creeped the hell out, and wanting more. I feel we are in a Stephen King renaissance and all of the movie adaptions are starting to be very good. Pet Sematary definitely outdoes the first adaption and brings a lot of changes that have a lot of mixed reactions, but the overall consensus is that these changes are good.



Rachel Creed (Amy Seimetz) is given a better and longer part in the movie, and we get to see her dealing with the death of her sister, Zelda (Alyssa Brooke Levine), with more emphasis and terror. The scenes involving Zelda and Rachel are nerve-wracking and fear-inducing. Amy Seimetz really delivered her rule, Her emotions and dialogue is strong and makes you really feel for her and her pain and her fright. And Zelda is terrifying.



Jason Clarke played Louis Creed extremely well. His portrayal definitely reminded me of the Louis Creed in the novel. He also performed a lot better than the first Louis Creed by giving more emotion and emphasis to his heartbreak and lunacy as he does the unthinkable. From dealing with the scary encounters with Pascow to talking to his wife and daughter about death, dealing with his daughter's death, and going insane, Jason Clarke displayed a whole spectrum of emotion as did Amy Seimetz. One particular scene that I really liked was when Louis was digging the shallow grave for Ellie, he is digging away at the ground using rocks, he hears what is undoubtedly the Wendigo in the distance and he just screams at it. I really felt that raw emotion. And undead Louis looks really creepy. Check out his eyes the next time you watch it.



The show stealer is definitely Jetè Laurence who plays Ellie Creed. We first see her as this wondrous and curious eight-year-old child who's asking questions about life and death, watching Spongebob, dancing like a ballerina to this undead, malevolent, evil thing that is living inside of Ellie. The undead Ellie is terrifying, mean-spirited, and evil. It was so creepy hearing her tell Jud what undead Gage tells him in the novel. Something in the lines of "Norma's burning in hell. I saw her there, Jud. I saw her" that was so damn creepy. And the way Ellie looks...wow. You can see blue veins all over her face and neck, the lazy eye like Gage had in the novel, blue lips, pale skin, and of course, the gruesome staples at the back of her head. Her facial expression during bath time is chilling.

A lot of people were wondering if Ellie comes back as herself--just zombified, or if she is reanimated with the Wendigo inside of her. This is definitely the Wendigo speaking through Ellie. She knows things that she shouldn't. She knew that Jud buried his wife Norma in the pet sematary (a deleted scene--not sure why it was cut) and she tells her mom, Rachel, that she knew that she would pray for her sister Zelda to die. This whole plot was done effectively by changing the death to Ellie instead of Gage. I mean, they probably just could have gotten a kid to open his mouth and then later voiceover Norma's voice, but I like the route they went with this adaption.

I was grossed out and a little bit squeamish once I saw Victor Pascow (Obssa Ahmed). His look is a lot more grotesque and realistic than the first adaption. It is definitely a nightmare-inducing wound and terrible to look at. It would have been better seeing more of him, but the little bit of time he gets onscreen is scary.


Church, played by four different rescue cats, is a lot more aggressive and creepy in this adaption. We see him give these angry looks, quiet stares, and more movements and greater presence than we saw beforehand. Plus they give him about three changes to the way his eyes look and it's terrifying. The cat could look normal one time, possessed in the other, and just straight up dead in the next. A scene that really got to me was when Louis finds Church sitting on top of Gage in his crib. The cat's eyes are a dead-white and he hisses. Gage cries and I feel this fatherly instinct in my chest. This movie has plenty of moments like that.

Gage (played by twins Hugo and Lucas Lavoie) doesn't really do or say much, but he is very adorable and likable. I really wanted Gage to live, but judging by the ending, I'm pretty sure that his undead family murders him only to resurrect him in the burial ground.



John Lithgow is a great Jud Crandall. He is this towering, big old man, with nicotine stains on his beard, and he just has this look like he has seen some things. John Lithgow really brought the mystery and the secretiveness of Jud. But I would have really liked it if they showed the scene where Norma comes back to him after being buried. I'm pretty sure that was the reason why Jud had those books about the Wendigo and the gun in his drawer. If the movie would have shown that scene, I would have given the movie 5 stars out of 5. 10 if they would have shown a Timmy Baterman scene.

And I am glad that they finally included the Wendigo and even a lot more of the dialogue from the novel that was left out in Mary Lambert's movie. King fans will notice the dialogue right away. I know I did! If you look closely when Louis is carrying Ellie in his arms on the way to the burial ground, you can see the Wendigo watching from within the fog then it slowly fades away.


The only things I had a problem with were scenes that weren't shown, and a longer run-time was needed. I could have easily sat through a three-hour Pet Sematary film. Judging by the trailer, it seems some things were left out, like the undead Norma scene. I also felt that Zelda should have been shown on screen more. We kind of barely get a glimpse of her whole face. But from the bit that we see, she is scary for sure. I also would have loved to see the Timmy Baterman scene from the novel. I think Dennis Widmyer and Kevin Kolsch could have pulled it off easily. So there is no denying that the movie should have been longer.

Overall, this is one of the best Stephen King adaptions, if not the best. This movie keeps you thinking long after you watched it. I know I stayed up in bed, tired but scared to sleep, thinking about the movie--especially the ending.

If you haven't watched Pet Sematary yet, I definitely suggest it--go watch it now! And after you watch it, come read the review with spoilers on it!

Keep it creepy



No comments:

Post a Comment