Movie review: Pet Sematary (2019)

Left to right: John Lithgow as Jud and Jeté Laurence as Ellie in PET SEMATARY, from Paramount Pictures.
Movie review: Pet Sematary (2019)/ Left to right: John Lithgow as Jud and Jeté Laurence as Ellie in PET SEMATARY, from Paramount Pictures.

Score: 40/100

For every great Stephen King movie like “It,” “The Shining” and “The Green Mile,” there is an equally bad adaptation of his work to match, such as “The Dark Tower,” “Stand by Me” and the 1989 version of “Pet Sematary.”

Starring Jason Clarke, John Lithgow, Amy Seimetz and Jeté Laurence, “Pet Sematary” is a remake of the classic Stephen King novel of the same name.

It tells the story of a father, Louis, who, through the help of his neighbor, Judd, finds a pet cemetery that brings the dead back.

After his daughter’s cat is killed, Louis takes the cat to the cemetery in order to bring it back to life. However, the cat comes back vicious, and after a tragic event that changes his life, Louis is left headed back to the cemetery, this time hoping for different results.

This movie has a few different things that separates itself from the adaptation of the novel. The first being that in the novel and original movie, Louis’ son dies from a car accident and in this version, it is his daughter. However, the difference is not major and Laurence does a fantastic job as Ellie; so really no problem.

Later in the film, however, there are some things that differ from the source material. No spoilers but be forewarned that if you are a fan of the original movie and novel, it is a little bit different.

This film delivers where it should with how many scares are in it. It was scary when it needed to be and at times almost too tough to watch. However, based off of the source material and what King has said himself, that is exactly how it is supposed to be.

On top of that, the acting is great all around and in horror movies, it is important to make it seem authentic.

The writing and directing, for the most part, was great; for a while the film was grounded and seemed real.

However, as the film got ready to conclude, the writing and directing seemed to slip a little and the realness went away. It became more like the corny, 1989 version.

Seimetz, who plays the mother, had an intriguing and scary background story to her character which came across completely under-utilized.

It should have been touched on more; it would have given her character much more depth and would have made the audience care about her more.

The ending is also something that will be highly discussed after this movie and it seems to be 50/50 on if it worked for people or not. It didn’t work for me at all and that is why this movie will fall on the bad side of Stephen King adaptations.

That doesn’t mean it won’t work for you, but I would say that unless you are a fan of horror or the source material, wait for the DVD to come out and watch it then.

Here’s to hoping that Kings’ next adaptation, “It: Chapter Two”, which comes out September 6, is better received!