The Movie: 4/10
I want to like it. I tried to like it. I felt feelings of “movie liking” a few times, but it faded quickly. Pet Sematary is not my scene, man. OH, and let me remind you, if you have never read my reviews or listened to our podcast, I LOVE HORROR MOVIES. I love cheap crappy ones. I love elaborate mind blowing ones. I like middle of the road wishy washy ones, even if they don’t rattle my cage, I appreciate the effort. So, what do I say when I don’t have much to say about a movie? It’s fine.
It’s fine. The premise is pretty boring, family moves to the sticks, old neighbor knows dark secrets, tragedy strikes, family is devastated, mom falls apart, dad falls apart, daughter comes back from the dead…you know, it’s Pet friggin’ Semetary. Nothing has changed from the original but the cast, the vibe, the special effects, and the release date. There is some stuff I don’t mind like the look of the whole thing. It’s kind of drab and dull and grubby, which is done well enough to make it work. The performance of the little girl who plays the dead daughter is the best one in the movie, bar none. That about covers it.
The biggest problem I have is how dumb it is. I get it, in the book it’s creepy and has a big impact. In the 80’s movie it’s almost comical with that 80’s charm (intentional or not). This…this movie is kinda dumb. I mean, the family is a bunch of cardboard cut out characters who have no real back story that makes me even care at all why they moved, and that leads to not caring about the consequences (there are always consequences when a family moves to the woods). The old man next door is so stuck in a Stephen King book cover it’s uncomfortable. I really do love John Lithgow, and yet this guy, this character, he felt like one from a skit on Saturday Night Live at times. Did I start this paragraph implying there was just ONE problem with this movie? haha
As for scary, it’s not. The heart of the darkness is not really explained fully. A place on a hill can bring stuff back to life, OK. The weirdo kids who walk around in masks, are they dead? Are they zombies? Are they spirits? Are they just weird kids? The dead daughter coming back to life has a hint of “ewe she’s freakin’ me out” at times, but the rest of everything else wipes away any chance of her making it better.
Overall, though this might surprise you, I was entertained by the movie as a whole. The tropes of lesser horror movies are fun to spot. I’m not a Stephen King fan so he’s not precious to me and I can see how shallow and uninspired a lot of his ideas really are, but it lends a certain flimsiness to it that brings me back to those 80’s that I loved so much and that formed my movie loving habits, so that’s something.
- Alternate Ending (10 Minutes) – Not a better ending but a different one.
- Deleted And Extended Scenes (18 Minutes) – A lot of deleted scenes here, some of which could make this movie better if they were cut back in.
- Night Terrors (5 Minutes) – Three of the main characters are explored.
- The Tale Of Timmy Baterman (3 Minutes) – John Lithgow tells the story of Timmy Baterman from the book and original movie.
- Beyond The Deadfall The Making Of Pet Sematary (1 Hour) – A in depth making of that comes in four chapters. This pretty much covers all aspects of the film including some of its troubled production.
- 4KUHD, Blu-ray & Digital Copy
Audio & Video: 8/10
Shot digitally Pet Sematary comes to Blu-ray and 4KUHD using a stellar AVC encode that is enhanced with HDR on the 4K version. The actual cinematography here is quite flat and lifeless but the transfer does it’s best to make it look cleaner on your home theatre. Close up detail is very good and as most of the movie takes place at night shadow detail looks great.
The Dolby Atmos Soundtrack used here has a VERy wide dynamic range, one minute it can be silent and the next its blowing the roof off your house so dial in accordingly. Dialog is crips clean and always centered. LFE moments are few and far between but surround sound adds a creepy atmosphere.
Overall Score 4/10