Usually if a film revolves around an animal I will avoid the movie like the plague because the denouement of the film will usually result in the animal dying. And animal deaths in movies are waaaaay worse than human deaths.
But a horror movie about a creepy 'pet semetary' when animals (and other things) seem to rise from the dead? It's got a Tim Burton Frankenweenie vibe to it and it's hard to ignore.
Pet Semetary is the latest of horror movies to hit our screens that has come from the twisted mind of dark fiction writer Stephen King. The story centres around Louis Creed, his wife Rachel, and their two children Gage and Ellie, who move to a rural home where they are welcomed and enlightened about the eerie 'Pet Sematary' located nearby. After the tragedy of their cat being killed by a truck, Louis buries it in the mysterious pet cemetery, only to discover the shocking truth when the cat comes back to life, and brings with it a plague of horrific events.
The story gets knocked down a peg for it's animal death (though no animals were harmed in the making of the film and Tonic the cat, who plays Church in the film, was alive and well and attended the premier in a tie) the story has proven that once again Stephen King is the Master of Horror. It is a perfect horror storyline, with it's appropriate set up, the heavy emphasis on familial grief, the slow unravelling of Louis Creed as the desperate dad, and the drama spiralling into outlandish supernatural escapes. It's not as out there as the supernatural denouements of Hereditry, it's not as slasher-for-the-sake-of-it as other modern horror movies, but it is a good solid horror movie.
I absolutely loved the sinister ending, which I won't reveal here, but it only served to cement Pet Semetary as modern horror in its prime. Not everything has a happy ending, and this proves it.
The actors in Pet Semetary were also very well cast. John Lithgow leads as the star power as the kindly neighbour next door, who could give off a creepy vibe but honestly I would follow him into an ancient Indian burial ground because, hey, it's John Lithgow. Jete Laurence, who is paving a career as the creepy horror girl by also starring in horror movie The Snowman, plays the daughter Ellie and can transition from sweet little girl next door to sinister and creepy child killer as though she was born for it. I commend her work in Pet Semetary, which was filled with hard scenes for her such as being dug up from a closed coffin, dirt being buried completely over her face, and several horrific scenes of violence towards a child. Jete has a long career ahead of her and she made this movie.
With the near perfect story line, excellent acting, unmistakable sense of guilt over appropriation settling over the film, and even the in references to Derry, Maine (the setting of Stephen King's other masterpiece IT) Pet Semetary has it all and I highly recommend you watch it if you are in the mood for a terrific piece of horror film.
I give Pet Semetary 4 and a half stars out of 5.
Pet Semetary is out in Australian cinemas now.