2019 Pet Sematary should have been left dead

Photo provided by IMDb

Thirty years after Louis Creed did whatever it took to save his family from the grips of death the classic tale of the “Pet Sematary” is back, but with some new twists.

In 1989 Stephen King brought one of his most famous stories to life: “Pet Sematary”. This is the story of a family who moves to a new home only to find tragedy due to the supernatural powers of the pet cemetery near their new home.

Now, in 2019, a reboot of the classic has been released, and much like those resurrected in the movie this reboot should have been left dead.

The original adaptation struggles with classic ‘80s corniness but still manages to deliver many scares and an overall enjoyable experience. “Pet Sematary” (2019) greatly improves on acting compared to the 1989 original through the help of solid cast including actors like Jason Clarke (Louis) and John Lithgow (Jud). Lithgow in particular gives the most compelling performance of the movie in his roles as Jud. His interaction with the undead near the end of the film highlights his ability to deliver memorable acting in an otherwise forgettable film. However the updated cast is where the improvements end. Poor pacing, unnecessary cgi, and predictable story drag on the film’s 100 minute run time.

Because of the source material, “Pet Sematary” (2019) has a lot of back story and set up to get through for its unique story to make sense. Instead of telling this backstory throughout the film in a progressive fashion, “Pet Sematary” (2019) tells it through uncompelling dialogue that lasts the entire first half of the film. By the time the movie picks up it is already ending. A whole lot of dialogue for a little bit of scares.

Another issue with the film is its look. The filmmakers attempted to make the forest in which the Pet Sematary is located look more eerie than that in the original. They tried this through the use of cgi, very poor cgi. Scenes that feature characters walking through this forest are so clearly green screen that any element of horror that was hoped to be added by its graphics is quickly lost. A scene that has two characters walking through the forest to a burial ground feels so fake it is hard to remember the forest is even on the same planet as the rest of the movie.

Many reboots in modern film try to stay loyal to the source material but go on to add and change things in order to set the film apart and in some cases make it better. “Pet Sematary” (2019) is not one of these movies. The film cuts out characters from the original and seems to change things in the movie only for the hell of it. A prime example if this is the new ending, one fans of the original will be disappointed by.

Is this movie entirely bad? No. The movie is watchable and will provide a sufficient feeling of horror for casual moviegoers wanting to pass the time. In the end “Pet Sematary” (2019) is a perfect example of studios half heartedly resurrecting classics only in the pursuit of money.