Thursday, April 4, 2019

"Pet Sematary"


True confession time: I have never seen the original Pet Sematary from 1989, nor read Stephen King's book on which it was based, so whatever I thought of this version has nothing to do comparing what has come before. I just sat and watched the story unfold.

It's a pretty good story, though it takes a long, long time to get where it's going, and once it gets there it finds there actually isn't a whole lot to do, which means it runs only an hour and 40 minutes. It's the perfect length, because while Pet Sematary does meander a lot, it never wears out its welcome, though it's awfully padded and probably would work best at "Twilight Zone" length.

A doctor (Jason Clarke) moves his family to rural Maine to get away (ha ha) from the stress of the big city. When the family cat dies, a neighbor (John Lithgow) shows the doctor a place beyond the local "Pet Sematary" where what gets buried doesn't stay dead. When the doctor and his wife (Amy Seimetz) lose their daughter (Jeté Lawrence) in a terrible accident -- well, see the previous sentence.

The movie is moody, scary and efficient, with some nice unexplored metaphors about parts of our lives that never really die, and being unable to let go. Those might have made a great movie. Instead, Pet Sematary is just okay, exactly good enough. Besides, if you're looking for metaphors in a Stephen King movie, you're probably in the wrong place.

Viewed April 4, 2019 -- AMC Burbank


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