‘Pet Sematary’ a thrilling new adaptation of a classic


Jason Clarke and Amy Seimetz in Pet Sematary (2019)

The 2019 adaptation of the infamous Stephen King’s novel ‘Pet Sematary,’ brings a thrilling upgrade to the story. This version is refreshingly unpredictable but, does stray away from the original film and novel.

The film follows the Creed family, Louis Creed (Jason Clarke) his wife, Rachel (Amy Seimetz), their two children, Gage (Hugo Lavoie) and Ellie (Jeté Laurence). The family is relocated from Boston to the small town of Ludlow Maine due to Louis Creed’s new job at a university hospital. The couple soon discovers a mysterious burial ground hidden deep in the woods near their new home and reveals an unfathomable evil chain of events that are followed by horrific consequences.

Pet Sematary‘ was released on April 5, following the highly successful film ‘It’(2017), another film adapted from Stephen King’s classic collection of novels. People have anticipated the release of this new film. Many of King’s classics are being revamped and redesigned to appeal to newer audiences.

The new Creed family motivations give the overall film a more mysterious and eerie storyline. Since the original, ‘Pet Sematary’ (1898), did have many flaws.

The original gave an interesting introduction to the Creed family with the horrorific and traumatic events that occur to them but falls flat when it comes to the acting and directing.

One major change that was made, was the fate of Gage and his sister Ellie that is switched from the original. This new change works in favor of the storytelling and direction that later leads to the climax of the film. The reasoning behind the burial ground and what is responsible for the events is acknowledged in a different way from the original.

The film explores the mysterious burial ground located in the back of the Creed’s new home in the woods. The first half of the film is filled with exposition and explanation of the history of the ‘Pet Sematary.’ It is explained that the locals used this as an area to bury recently deceased pets, without knowing the evil that possesses beyond the local ‘Pet Sematary,’ at the abandoned Indian burial ground. This evil is seen to seep into the Creed family when the daughter Ellie spots a group of local kids in a procession wearing animal masks carrying a deceased dog to the ‘Pet Sematary.’ She later decided to follow and stumbles upon the misspelled sign of the ‘Pet Sematary.’ Throughout the film, the cemetery’s presence plays a significant part in the chain of events and consequences that effect on the family.

The performances in this adaptation are executed very well. Jason Clarke as Dr. Louis Creed gives an emotional performance. As well as his on-screen wife, played by Amy Seimetz also deals with personal demons regarding her sister Zelda that was diagnosed with spinal meningitis and whose illness traumatized Rachel as a child. Jeté Laurence as a newcomer plays the character Ellie splendidly, playing both an innocent and terrifying role even as a young girl. Also including John Lithgow, who brilliantly plays the neighbor Jud, a significant role that introduces the menacing and otherworldly ‘Pet Sematary’ to Louis in the film.

This new adaptation effectively uses jump-scares something that the original lacked throughout the film. It teases the audience with expectations of what is to occur. In addition, the film gives a more frightful look of Church the family cat, in both his physical appearance and behavior. Besides some sequences containing body horror and gore, for the most part, the violence is tame throughout the film.

Overall, ‘Pet Sematary,’ was a good film that surpasses it’s original and has a chilling surprise ending.

Rating: 6/10