I watched the original Pet Sematary a few years ago after hearing how scary it is and it did not live up to the hype for me. I thought that it was not scary and pretty dated so I thought a remake could be actually a good idea. I’m not usually that supports remakes, but there a exceptions, this being one.
Pet Sematary tells the story of a small girl that looses her cat. Since she is distraught, her father decides to bring the dead cat and bury it in the Pet Sematary, where he eventually revives. He is, however, not the same cat as he once was and soon tragedy strikes, the family is forced to make a life-changing decision.
This movie, unfortunately, was fine. Nothing great, nothing awful. What bogs it down for me is it’s extremely slow first act. It takes a good fifty minutes for this movie to get interesting, and when it does the movie is plagued with jump scares. It’s not as bad as say The Nun which came out last year, which was just so boring all the way through. This movie does have a good few moments of tension in it, in the third act. The movie also has a good bleak atmosphere and the concept is intriguing. There’s just not enough meat in the story.
The actors are all good. Jason Clarke gives always the best performance he can, although I didn’t care much about his character. He’s the main guy we follow and he doesn’t have any interesting backstory for us to care about him. All we know is that he’s a doctor and that he doesn’t believe in heaven. That’s it.
His wife, played by Amy Seimetz gave the best performance in the film and she’s the character I latched on to the most. She has an interesting backstory; a dark tragedy that happened in her past deeply affected her. The little girl Jeté Learence gives also a decent performance even though it’s not always easy for a child to be good acting, but she wasn’t bad. She gave a lot of weight in the dramatic scenes.
And of course, John Lithgow, who is great in everything he is in. The cast here wasn’t the problem it was mostly the script and it’s constant need of feeding us information about the Sematary for the first two acts. There’s a lot of dialogue and a lot of exposition, and a lot of it isn’t that compelling, so it drags in the beginning. Now I will say that the ending does pay off and it was a pretty intense ending and one that made up for the rest of the movie. It is very different than the original movie however and I can’t confirm for the book because I haven’t read it.
Overall, Pet Sematary 2019 is an okay horror film with fine performances and a decent third act, and a better movie than it’s predecessor, but doesn’t offer anything all that new or original or scary enough to stand out among the other great Stephen King adaptations we’ve been having lately.