There has been quite the resurgence of interest in Stephen King related projects over the last few years. And after the massive amount of money that the studios made on ‘It’, they were clamoring for properties to remake. So, one of the first major properties that they decided to remake was the 1980’s horror favorite, ‘Pet Sematary’. Luckily for all you horror fans, they did not destroy the original, but instead enhanced its themes and even improved on its shortcomings.
The biggest improvement overall has got to be the character development. Whereas the original adaptation of the Stephen King novel was mostly interested in creeping you out, this version has a bit more on its mind. The biggest thing being death, and how horrifying it is to deal with. Especially, when it is unexpected.
This is not to say that the previous film did not tackle this subject. However, it’s attempts at digging for something deeper felt hollow. In the 2019 version, there is a genuine attempt to draw horror out of something that everyone fears and that horror is palpable at points in the narrative. It also helps that the actors are uniformly better and the children are given enough to do that they become more instrumental to the emotional core of the story.
If you don’t know what that story is, then let’s fill you in really quick. In short, a family moves to a house in the woods. The father is a fairly wealthy doctor, played by Jason Clarke. They find out from a strange neighbor (played by Jon Lithgow) that there is a cemetery on their property that brings animals back from the dead and so they decide to bring back their dead cat. This leads to some dark consequences and deep questions about death.
While this might not rise to the level of more recent King hits like ‘It’ or the outstanding mini-series ‘11-22-63’, it is a solid adaptation of a classic novel. And it will leave many audience members contemplating some pretty horrific shit. Which is really what a horror flick is supposed to do. Right?