The recently released “Us” has a similar opening – a drone-shot panning the woods. When the show starts in the usual fashion of an average American family moving to their new abode deep in the heartland of rural U.S, my expectations drop like a rock. Pet Sematary comes from the mind of Stephen King – one of the most influential horror authors of all-time, and here I am, already faded. It doesn’t help that the previous adaptation isn’t that well-received. It was generic, poorly acted, and had laughable effects. Maybe someone could do it justice some day. Or maybe picking up this project is a mistake.
There are familiar plotlines that make up the bulk of Pet Sematary’s runtime – Church’s death, the haunting of Rachel Creed’s sister, and every relevant but exhausting backstory about the people affected by bringing back their loved ones. It could have been excellent. A better screenplay and solid direction could’ve made the whole subject matter engaging. But there is no evidence of the director duo making an effort. The generic tag stays, which is a shame as it could’ve been brilliant! “Sometimes, dead is better”? Yes.
At least the cast performed better in this adaptation. Jason Clarke and Amy Seimetz bring out believable performances. John Lithgow is fair, but surprisingly, I find myself leaning towards Fred Gwynne’s Jud Crandall (the only good part in the previous one).
If you think you are better off skipping this one just because it offers nothing new, you would be right. But all is not lost. There are a couple of surprises you can expect that will either elevate your perception or won’t make much of a difference, depending on your state of mind. The movie tries its best to be original and please you with the liberties it has taken. I welcome the change, but they could’ve done so much more. You want your creation to stand out? You want people to relate and relive the horrors you display onscreen for days after the movie ends? Then get better creators because I already forgot everyone in the movie – except that majestic cat.
Rating – 2/5