Film (Re)View – Pet Sematary

Brilliant! Awesome! Loved it! Everything I wanted and more!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a film review, as I’ve been waiting for my new website to go live. And I can’t think of a better horror film to launch my new site than Pet Sematary!

You can probably tell by my intro I enjoyed the film, and I did; I loved it. For once, it was a horror movie of consistency, with a fantastically chilling ending.

Now, I have yet to read the book (ordered last night) and so I am in a good position to be objective. Fans of the book may not be so charitable.

The story revolves around a family moving out to the country to lead less stressful lives. Rachel, the mother, carries with her the childhood trauma of her sister’s death, but I think Lewis, the father, is also trying to escape something; you never find out what it is though. The couple have two children, Ellie aged 9 and Gage aged 2/3, plus they have a gorgeous cat called Church.

The idyllic house they thought they’d moved to has one huge flaw – a main road along which huge tankers travel at breakneck speeds.

Lewis is a doctor and on his first day he has to deal with the victim of a road traffic accident, the special effects on whom are out of this world, and the ghost of this boy haunts Lewis throughout the film. The ghost also says something to Lewis about not being able to go back once the barrier has been breached (I don’t know the exact wording). Again, this hints at something in Lewis’ past we, as the audience, do not know.

The death of Church leads Lewis to discover, thanks to their elderly neighbour Jud, an ancient burial ground of sorts on his land, beyond the Pet Sematary. It is the soil of the burial ground that is important as, for reasons no one knows, it can bring things back from the dead. The critical morsel that Jud fails to tell Lewis is that things don’t come back the same, leading to the immortal line – ‘sometimes dead is better’.

Church becomes evil personified and Lewis tries to get rid of him but fails, a failure that results in the horrific accident which seals the fate of the family and sends Lewis descending into madness.

For those wanting a reproduction of the book, I think you will be sorely disappointed. The big giveaway that it is not true to the book is the credit of Matt Greenberg as the writer of the screen story (there was also a screenwriter).

If you go to see it with an open mind, I fail to see how you cannot enjoy it. The acting, especially from the young actress who plays Ellie, is excellent, the special effects are spot on, the pace is good, the blood and gore is just right, and the thrills and chills are all there, especially at the end!

Highly recommended!

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