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Friday, April 5, 2019

Pet Sematary 2019 * * 1/2 Stars

Pet SemataryDirectors: Dennis Widmyer, Kevin Kolsch
Year: 2019
Rated R
Rating: * * 1/2 Stars
Cast: Jason Clarke, John Lithgow, Amy Seimetz

"Sometimes dead is better". Sure, I'll concur on that one. "They don't come back the same". Yup, they sure don't. "Those woods belong to something else". Uh, you think? "Maybe just some crazy folk tale". Uh, I doubt that.

In the actual town of Ludlow, Maine, a doctor, his stay-at-home wife, his feline, and his two kids move into a large house located near a woodsy area. Beyond said woods is an ancient burial ground. Basically anything that's buried there will come back to life and be downright evil. That's the gist of 2019's Pet Sematary, my latest review. In total veracity, I've only seen brief snippets from the 1989 film that came before this second reworking. Therefore with aging eyes and virginal heart, I'm judging the new "Sematary" as a biased, stand-alone vehicle.

Based on a novel by Stephen King (like you didn't already know), running at 100 minutes, and directed by a couple of unknowns (Dennis Widmyer, Kevin Kolsch), Pet Sematary will only scare the wits out of you if you've never seen a snuff flick before. This is fodder that has a look of something from the Lifetime channel, the CW, or the 27-year-old Syfy network. This is hairball cats, You're Next masks, and crackling wood without the 70's horror graininess. This is hallucinatory imagery and voiceover that comes off as amusing and not completely frightening.

With the conventional "Sematary", directors Widmyer and Kolsch revel in zoom shots, mild shock value twists, masterful pacing, solid casting (Jason Clarke, Jete Laurence, and John Lithgow are standouts), and neutered gore. Their movie is effectively harmless but it doesn't upset you like other Stephen King adaptations. If I wanna truly be given the creeps I'll see The Mist, The Shining, Misery, or Creepshow instead. Rating: 2 and a half stars.

Written by Jesse Burleson

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