Pet Sematary

Paramount Pictures

“Sometimes dead is better.”

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When a film holds up after more than a decade, I consider it little more than luck.  Especially now days as technology, and by extension  the means by which artists and programmers can realistically design elements in an all digital realm, continues to improve.  Things that once wowed us, therefore, quickly become “snags” as their once visually appealing effects no longer come across as “real”.  Nothing’s worse than sitting through a film with a compelling story and sound acting than being kicked out of the experience by something that doesn’t gel anymore.

This is why, when a film can still entertain you, after more than two decades, well, that’s not just luck.  That comes down to the handling of the material by the production crew and director of a film.

In the case of Pet Sematary, that comes down to director Mary Lambert and her humanistic approach to Stephen King‘s screenplay.

Paramount Pictures

Stephen King’s Pet Sematary posits the questions, if someone (or something) you loved and you could bring them back, would you?  Could you?  And at what cost?

What remains thought provoking and emotionally engaging about Pet Sematary, even after more than 20 years,  is how Lambert guides us down the path of the Creed family’s personal tragedies, revealing horror after horror until you, like Louis Creed (Dale Midkiff) just wants to put things back to the way they were.

How much can he, and the audience, take before the sense of reality, of right and wrong, becomes completely and irrefutably bent?

Paramount Pictures

Sure, the effects that constitute most of Victor Pascow’s (Brad Greenquist) screentime as an apparition/ghost now appear dated when put up against the spectral visual depiction of a ghost in, say, The Devil’s Backbone.  But Pascow’s appearance onscreen is still enough to startle you, if even for the briefest of moments.  Not bad for a film that relies on technology 20+ years old.

If for no other reasons, Pet Sematary is still interesting to watch thanks to the eerily creepy performance of Miko Hughes who plays the Creed’s toddler son, Gage, and the dishy-ness of Denise Crosby of Star Trek: TNG fame.

Paramount Pictures

In the end, the family drama, the horror of loss, how we deal with that loss, or the energy we put into the avoidance of grief, feeds into the longevity and interest Pet Sematary has enjoyed (and will continue to enjoy) over the years.

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Did Boston.com get it right?

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there's more to explore

Wiki facts: Pet Sematary

Is Pet Sematary rotten or fresh?

How did Pet Sematary do at the box office?

Watch or buy Pet Sematary on Amazon

Read the book that started it all: Stephen King’s Pet Sematary

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One response to “Pet Sematary

  1. Pingback: The List to End All Horror Film Lists « celluloid junkie·

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