Pet Sematary, an alleged horror, got more laughs than screams from the half-filled theater.
Stephen King, prolific in his respected field, was done wrong by some point in the assembly line of production, and there were definitely a few missing pieces resulting in gaping plot holes. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
We open with a lovely bird’s eye shot of the forest, and the music eases you into an eerie score as a burning house is shown and the camera descends upon a bloodied front porch. (This isn’t a spoiler, it’s legitimately before credits have even gotten good).
Ye olde funny bones get kicked up right away simply by the absurdities. The film is riddled with characters and concepts that are either unexplained, underdeveloped or simply fall off the grid after a short introduction. Children in masks with an ambiguous procession towards a graveyard on the owned property of the newest family in town who were entirely unaware of its existence. Seems legit. The cat Church is the only developed character, and the most consistent as far as driving scenes from A to B. However, he’s not the kind of cat you’d hoped to cuddle. Beyond that, it seems the “Sematary” is a C-character in an otherwise conglomerate of loose plot points.
Hauntings begin unprecedentedly, and don’t follow to serve a purpose other than jump scares, prompting questions like, “Who are you again?” or “Why do you have so much screen time when we hardly know how you were even presented to this story?” You know, things you probably don’t hope to be asking when you sit through 100 minutes of alleged horror. There is tension built at the hand of the scores, some classic gore can only get you so far, but the concept might be best left as a book. There are too many details omitted that would certainly have piqued interest, but by the end of the first act, I simply didn’t care.
Don’t be too deterred by one man’s opinion. This film has it all: deformities, childhood trauma, family homes, “that creepy neighbor that maybe is going to ruin this for everyone,” and disillusioned white people. If that’s what you’re in to, go for it.
My personal rating? A D. Like when a professor wants to fail you but doesn’t want to fill out the paperwork or risk seeing your face in class next semester. I’m not mad, just disappointed.
Pet Sematary Review