Pet Sematary

Vampire Owl: This is the cemetery where most the people we know shall go.

Vampire Bat: Most people don’t go to cemeteries. They are taken there.

Vampire Owl: We, the undead can just walk all the way there though.

Vampire Bat: The Stephen King’s novel might have other ideas about the cemetery.

Vampire Owl: Well, there is nothing like being buried in a grave far away from the town. It is so calm and peaceful.

Vampire Bat: It has always been calm and peaceful under the surface, except for some worms.

Vampire Owl: You can listen to those foot steps if you stay awake for long. It is not that peaceful in cemeteries of the city.

Vampire Bat: There is no hope in the cities anymore.

Vampire Owl: Does that mean hope among humans otherwise.

Vampire Bat: There is none. There is no goodness in them even during the time of a virus which has killed a good number of them, and sent them to lockdown.

[Gets some potato chips and three cups of ginger tea].

What is the movie about? :: Dr. Louis Creed (Jason Clarke) moves to the countryside with his wife Rachel Creed (Amy Seimetz) and his children Ellie Creed (Jete Laurence) and Gage Creed (Lucas Lavoie). The move from the busy city of Boston to the calm and quiet town of Ludlow seemed to be a much needed change for them to settle down and slow things down. Ellie’s cat, Church named after Winston Churchill is the only other person who is with them. They find out that there is a pet sematary as a part of their property, as they have bought a large section of land of which finding all the borders is a tough job. Children taking their dead pets to the cemetery had become a common sight there, seemingly having a ritual significance. Despite being asked not to venture through the woods and the deserted areas, a curious Ellie makes her way through the cemetry and meets Jud Crandall (John Lithgow), an old widower.

So, what happens with the events here? :: Ellie becomes friendly with Jud, and the family also invites him for food. One day, a student who struck by an automobile, Victor Pascow (Obssa Ahmed) is taken to the hospital, and Louis try to save him only in vain. After the incident, he has visions of the same person trying to warn him about certain danger which is to happen if he decides to go beyond the limits. One day, Church is killed by a truck, and Jud takes Louis past the pet cemetery to an ancient burial ground and asks him to bury the cat there, putting a stone over it. The next day, Church returns home alive. But it can be seen that he is different -the cat had become very aggressive and violent, brutally attacking a bird, and eating it alive, as well as attacking the kids. Jud tells Louis that it might be a spirit that came back from the dead, even though he had expected the cat to return in the same manner.

The defence of Pet Sematary :: There is no questioning the ability of this particular movie to use the terrifying atmosphere to its advantage, as the common “cabin the woods” setting serves as the perfect place, with one cemetery built around an ancient burial ground creates too perfect a world for a horror movie here. The feeling of mystery is always there, and we keep expecting something terrifying to be revealed at different steps. There is also that scary past and legend that goes a long way back beyond colonization to go with it, and there is some creepy music to add here. The movie also has a certain amount of blood and gore even though not too much, and a violent kid is always scarier than the rest, especially when returning from the dead – demon kids never stop being impactful with or without the presence of the demon spirit. You will also love the choice of cat being made here, and the speeding trucks also add to the effect.

The claws of flaw :: This version of Pet Sematary does have some differences with the Stephen King novel, and such a deviation might not be liked by everyone. After all, King is the god-figure for so many readers of horror, especially those who started reading much earlier. Changes from the 1989 film version can also be seen here. The movie also doesn’t explore all the spookiness that can be associated with the cemetery, especially with an area which has an even longer history to go with it. In these types of movies, elements of nature can play a better role, but this one decides not to touch the same much. There is a lot of scope for horror in each moment and each part of this movie’s visual and audible part, and those elements are not exploited enough. The movie is also slow paced, and it does take its own time to keep the horror moving.

Performers of the soul :: Jason Clarke is there as the protagonist, a name which we have known throughout popular movies including Terminator Genisys and Everest among many other flicks. He plays the loving father very well, and faces the troubles making some hard decisions nicely. Amy Seimetz was there in Alien Covenant, in one of those roles. She is really good here, as the character works on the memories, and there is the past that catches up to her. Jete Laurence as Ellie Creed is fantastic as the cute little kid as well as the undead child looking forward to violence. John Lithgow plays the good old guy in the neighborhood who knows that evil is eternally present, but can do nothing about it. Along with these, the masked kids having a procession to the pet sematary and the cat do seem to add to the performances just in some short period of time.

How it finishes :: Pet Sematary moves on like any other Stephen King book inspired movie with ease, and with the written material at the base, there is no difficulty here. With the mis-spelled cemetery in the name, the novel takes the idea to the visual level too, and it becomes another version of the much appreciated novel that needs a watch. In the world of The Conjuring, Annabelle, The Nun, Insidious, Child’s Play and other popular movies becoming part of a series of flicks in a franchise, there is always scope for the old style horror, as much as the new generation horror like It Follows, Lights Out and Don’t Breathe. After all, good horror is the need of the time, especially with one virus spreading all over the world, and bringing the terror without adding anything that is out of this world. Everyone stay safe, stay at home, and watch more movies.

Release date: 5th April 2019
Running time: 101 minutes
Directed by: Kevin Kolsch, Dennis Widmyer
Starring: Jason Clarke, Amy Seimetz, John Lithgow, Jete Laurence, Sonia Maria Chirila, Obssa Ahmed, Alyssa Brooke Levine, Suzy Stingl, Maria Herrera, Lucas Lavoie

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.


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