Pet Sematary is the story of a doctor from Boston who moves his family from the big city to the quiet, country life to spend more time with his kids. Louis, Rachel, Elle and Gage relocate to a sprawling Maine property, sight unseen. Almost as soon as they discover a generations-old pet cemetery on their property, they begin to experience tragedy. And memories of the dead begin to plague the family.
Stephen King film adaptations are a tricky thing. Sometimes, they’re absolutely terrifying, such as The Shining and Salem’s Lot. And other times, they are just disappointing, namely, The Stand and IT. The original Pet Sematary (1989) fell somewhere in the middle. I didn’t care for the casting choices, and much of the acting felt campy. The remake feels like a huge improvement. The actors fit their roles much better and deliver understated performances that really sell the story this time around. And the story, well, it has changed a bit. Some key elements were tweaked, resulting in a much more frightening film. The directors, Kevin Kölcsh and Dennis Widmyer, brought us Starry Eyes, and Pet Sematary shares that tone. John Lithgow is great, of course. But, so is everyone else in this version. Even Church is scarier in the update. Sometimes, remakes are better.