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Pet Sematary

Opening Date
04 Apr 2019
NC16 Some Violence
90 mins
English with Chinese subtitles
Kevin Kölsch, Dennis Widmyer
Jason Clarke, Amy Seimetz, John Lithgow
Based on the seminal horror novel by Stephen King, Pet Sematary follows Dr. Louis Creed (Jason Clarke), who, after relocating with his wife Rachel (Amy Seimetz) and their two young children from Boston to rural Maine, discovers a mysterious burial ground hidden deep in the woods near the family’s new home. When tragedy strikes, Louis turns to his unusual neighbor, Jud Crandall (John Lithgow), setting off a perilous chain reaction that unleashes an unfathomable evil with horrific consequences.
By Hoai  04 Apr 2019
Following Jordan Peele’s Us, Pet Sematary is yet another hit in what is looking to be a delightful lineup of horror films this year.
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Based on Stephen King’s classic novel of the same name, Pet Sematary is the latest addition to a series of recent film adaptations of King’s works. The film may upset hardcore King fans with some of its plot details being a departure from the novel, but as a whole, it does a good job at honouring the source material while being a solid movie in its own right.
The film follows Louis Creed (Jason Clarke), a doctor from Boston who is moving to the rural town of Ludlow, Maine, with his wife Rachel (Amy Seimetz) and their children, Ellie and Gage. The plot wastes no time to kick into gear, and strange things take place almost immediately upon the family’s arrival. Ellie discovers a cemetary, iconically misspelt as “Sematary”, for roadkills in the adjacent woods. It is here that she runs into Jud (John Lithgow), their kind neighbour who takes to her instantly. A friendship quickly forms between Jud and the Creeds. And when Ellie’s cat Church gets run over by some unknown vehicle, Jud leads Louis to a burial ground deep in the woods that has the power to resurrect whoever buried there.
While the speed at which the film sets up its plot is a pleasant, much appreciated surprise, it does sacrifice some of the details that could have enriched the characters’ background stories and relationships. Louis, Rachel and Jud all have their own inner demon to deal with but the plot doesn’t quite manage to follow these subplots to their proper conclusion. Part of what makes King’s novel so compelling is the little background details that give the characters nuances. Without those, it is difficult to connect with the characters and their deaths become less of a tragedy and more of a spectacle.
A major plus point for the film is how well it embeds the discussion on death and grief into the plot. The identity of the first human victim is a “twist” from the novel, much to the chagrin of some King enthusiasts. But considering who are actually involved in the conversations about death in the film, the change makes a lot more narrative and thematic sense. It also makes Louis’s attempt at bringing said victim back to life more ironic when in the beginning he tries to explain to them the afterlife doesn’t exist.
Following Jordan Peele’s Us, Pet Sematary is yet another hit in what is looking to be a delightful lineup of horror films this year. It may not have the worldwide success of It (2017) but as far as film adaptations go, it definitely belongs in the camp of those that more than live up to the source material.
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Trailers / Videos
Pet Sematary Trailer
Pet Sematary Official Trailer

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