Main cast: Jason Clarke (Louis Creed), Amy Seimetz (Rachel Creed), John Lithgow (Jud Crandall), Jeté Laurence (Ellie Creed), Hugo and Lucas Lavoie (Gage Creed), Obssa Ahmed (Victor Pascow), Alyssa Brooke Levine (Zelda Goldman)
Directors: Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer
Why are they remaking Pet Sematary? Stephen King has written a trillion stories, surely there are at least one that haven’t been made into a movie yet! Mind you, of all the stories they could have remade, my personal preference would be the hilariously terrible Sleepwalkers or, if we want something a bit more highbrow, Salem’s Lot may fit the bill as the TV miniseries wasn’t particularly terrible. Or original, but still, surely it’s better than yet another zombie flick.
Okay, technically this one isn’t a zombie flick as much as it is about magically reincarnated dead people who come back after they had been buried in a lot said to be haunted by the spirit of a Wendigo. This cursed plot of land isn’t the pet cemetery referred in the title; it’s located just a little bit deeper into the woods after the cemetery. Just don’t go into the woods, they are dangerous. This is what Jud Crandall tells the Creed family when they move in next door in a sleepy town of Ludlow, Maine.
As time progresses, the daddy Louis who is a doctor is haunted by the ghost of someone whom he couldn’t save. And then the family cat dies, and Jud buries the cat, Church, in the cursed lot. The cat comes back, but with a violent and probably even evil streak too. And then the daughter Ellie gets hit by a truck…
Yes, whoever has seen the original 1989 film would find the bulk of this movie very, very familiar. Sure, they changed things up so this time, the daughter becomes truck pie instead of the brat, and the events in the last fifteen minutes or so are changed up to make Louis far less of a dumbass like he was in the earlier film. Actually, the final scene is easily the scariest moment in this entire movie, probably because the kid in that scene is admittedly so cute that I just want to hug him close. Everything else is just the same old stuff rehashed all over.
Still, this one doesn’t have the wooden mannequin Dale Midkiff in the lead role, and the special effects aren’t as fake as those in the earlier film. On the other hand, while John Lithgow is no slouch, I find myself missing the late Fred Gwynne – his portrayal of Jud feels more memorable and striking compared to Mr Lithgow’s. I can take or leave everyone else, although Hugo and Lucas Lavoie are just too cute for words, especially considering the annoying kid they are playing.
Anyway, I may like this one better if I hadn’t watched the earlier movie adaptation three times already over the years. As it is, this Pet Sematary is okay, but I find myself fidgeting restlessly and looking at the time throughout the whole thing.