Stephen King has written many stories, books and novellas. Many of them have been turned into films or a mini-series, but I have always wondered which stayed true to the source material. I had only read a couple of his books, The Shining, Carrie and Pet Sematary, so I could only judge these books and films. I knew the Shining was so much different and Carrie was a descent depiction, but Pet Sematary may have been better than the book.
I first saw the film sometime in 1989, it was released on home video and my step father, a wretched man, loved Stephen King, so we rented Pet Sematary. I remember watching it and having some good scares and laughing at the ending. Today, I get the chance to watch both movies. It has been a long time since I have seen either and I believe I am in for a treat. I do recommend watching them, back to back.
Pet Sematary (1989)
The story is about a doctor moving to the middle of nowhere with his family from Chicago. The meet the only neighbor, Judd and he leads them to a path in their yard. The path leads to a “Pet Sematary”, where locals all bury their pets who have passed on. Thanksgiving comes and Louis, the Doctor, is left alone. Judd finds their cat, Church dead on his front lawn. Church seems to have been hit by one of the passing trucks that steam down the road every day, all day long…This is where I have trouble with the movie or the story. Did they buy the house, site unseen? Why would they buy a house on a road like this, with two small children?
I love the characters in the movie, from Louis Creed to Judd and even little Gage. Some of the acting is a little corny, but Dale Midkiff, Louis Creed, gives his all when he experiences loss. Judd is played by Herman Munster himself, Fred Gwynne, is amazing as the somewhat crazy neighbor who is full of stories and riddles.
Watching Pet Sematary again, it opened my eyes in a new way. It is a very good movie, I am beyond scares, but it has a good creep factor and the the story is fantastic.
One great memory, my brother was always scared of Rachel’s sister Zelda and Pascow. We would constantly tease him and call him in the room every time either were on the screen.
IMDB.com has a rating of of 6.6
I have changed mine from 7.0 to 8.0
Pet Sematary Two (1992)
Oddly enough, the second movie is directed by the same directory from the first movie, Mary Lambert. I think that is great and really rare in a horror film sequel. Beyond that, the second movie does not live up to the first. I don’t think the first movie needed a sequel at all, they should have left it…dead. Sometimes, dead is better…
The second movie starts off on a film set of a horror movie. Edward Furlong’s mother is an actress and she dies on set. He moves in with his father, who is a vet in the town where the Creed’s lived and died. He befriends a Drew, who’s step dad is the Sheriff of the town, his name is Gus and he has a very strange obsession with rabbits. Gus shoots Drew’s dog and he and Jeff take the dog to the Pet Sematary. The dog eventually comes back and attacks Gus, who is buried at the Pet Sematary.
Gus is played by the great Clancy Brown and he is messed up in this movie, he was great.
There are some strange things in the movie and it comes off as bland, other than Clancy Brown’s character. I am not sure if there is a good way to follow up the first movie. It really should have been a single movie, but for some reason I really enjoy the sequel, again, I saw it when I was young and liked it then.
Give it a shot, you may like it, if you missed it over the past 24 years. I like it, it is not great, it is not terrible…it simply…is…
IMDB.com has a score of 4.7
I have a score of 5.2
Of course with a movie released in the 1980s there is a Rock n’ Roll video released to help promote the movie. This one was a song called, “Pet Sematary” and preformed by the Ramones. It really is a good tune and I still love it today. Here is the video below, enjoy!