Monday, April 22, 2019

[Review] Pet Sematary (2019)

Some things just never die, especially if you meddle with them.

Amid the graveyard plot of Hollywood remakes and reboots, 2019’s Pet Sematary (based on the famous Stephen King novel) manages to rise up through the muck, thanks to a brooding atmosphere and methodical scares. 

Much like its 1989 predecessor, the story begins with Louis and Rachel Creed (played by Jason Clarke and Amy Seimetz) and their two children as they move to the small town of Ludlow, Maine. And yes, they’ve brought the cat! Soon after they settle in - scratch that - they never really settle in, a bearded old man (John Lithgow) show them the Pet Sematary in the woods, and well, all hell breaks loose.

Quicker than you can reach for a shovel, this thing delves into some demented frights and disturbing scenes that stick with you like dirt under your fingernails. There’s an escalating sense of dread that just never rests. The slow-gliding camerawork and eerie music works wonders here, giving us plenty of nerve-wracking views of dark rooms and foggy forests. 

Director duo Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer handle the bizarre events very well and maintain the essence of the source material while throwing in a couple of new twists that give the film a darker edge. John Lithgow is perfectly cast as the wary old local who has seen some shit, and Jeté Laurence gives a remarkably creepy performance. But the standout might just be Church the cat, who manages to be cute even when devouring the insides of a dead crow. It’s a fitting symbol for this horror remake - messing with dead or resurrecting the beyond isn’t always the best idea, but it sure is scary and fun to witness. 


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