Creepy kids and animals…
Stars: Jason Clarke, Amy Seimetz, John Lithgow, Jeté Laurence
Directors: Kevin Kölsch, Dennis Widmyer
Synopsis: A family move to a quiet town in order to spend more time together. When the daughter Ellie (Jeté Laurence) discovers a pet cemetery at the back of their property it’s dismissed and nothing more than a nice way for the town children to remember their pets. But when their cat Church dies, the neighbour Jud (John Lithgow) shows the father (Jason Clarke) another burial place beyond the pet cemetery, one where things that get buried don’t stay buried for very long.
Opinion: Let it be stated that I have read the book and seen the original movie, so I am familiar with the story and was aware of the changes made in this version. Having said that though, I still found that the first half of the movie felt really rushed. It was all the character building and scene setting material which is obviously important to any film, but it just felt as though they were trying to get through it as fast as possible because it wasn’t horror worthy enough. People obviously wouldn’t be here to watch any sort of story, they just want to be scared so quick, quick, rush, rush and get to the good part. Now if you can’t tell, there is a lot of sarcasm there because I am a firm believer that in any good movie (including horror) well built story, settings and characters are key to a great execution and rushing through it leaves you feeling like you may have missed something. That aside, the story is good and does stay about 75% faithful to the book, I just wished they maybe slowed the pace down a bit and allowed the tension to build better in the first half.
But enough of that stuff, let’s talk about what everyone will be wanting to know, is it scary? Well you’ll have to go and watch it to judge for yourself, but I will say that there are plenty of great jump scare moments and some excellent tension building moments in the second half. Creepy is probably the key word I would use for this film, creepy and quite dark at times with some terrifying visuals and a bit of gore thrown in for good measure. Also, to note, Jeté Laurence is very good at being a terrifying zombie child in the latter part of the film. Brace yourself for creepy child overload, she brings it by the bucketload.
For a final thought, my opinion really was brought down by the fast pace of the beginning of the movie but was redeemed by the look and feel of the horror aspects of the film. I didn’t love Pet Sematary but I did enjoy it for the horror movie it was.
Scare Factor: Jump scares, creepy children and animals, ghost voices and weird visions….yep this movie has everything in it that will make you jump, flinch and be on the edge of your seat. Be aware, you will probably have at least one scare.