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The Final [Girl] Review: Pet Sematary

'Pet Sematary' (2019) follows a family that moves to a rural home that happens to be close to an old, haunted burial ground. Upon resurrecting their cat from the burial ground's mystical earth, another tragedy befalls the family and they must choose whether or not their loved one should remain dead or come back...as something else.

Contains spoilers!

I watched the trailer for the movie. Initial thoughts were, “Oh, another Stevie King movie. So basically another snore fest like The Shining or that one about the cornfields on Netflix.”

We learn that a family moves to the woods and realizes there’s something amiss with their backyard. Something about an animal graveyard? Children ominously dressing as animals? Then it started giving glimpses of some creepy stuff: A creeper standing in the shadows at night? The family’s beloved Fluffy becoming possessed? Things moving quicker than they should? At this point I’m excited- maybe this will be a Very Scary Movie! So I booted up the ol’ movie machine and downloaded Pet Sematary to keep me warm on a cold January night.

Why, why, why?

WHY?

Sure, it’s an animal graveyard, and then over the river and through the woods, and a wall of sticks… and swamps... and rocks... is another graveyard. And somehow this one is more magical? A wendigo lives there, or nearby? Pet Sematary was just “cat comes back angrier than before” and “wife keeps imagining her dead sister” and “lazy-eyed nine-year-old stabs people because reasons.”

This whole movie was tolerable in the first half and a jumbled, bloody mess in the second. And really, they should have named it “Pet Sematary: Walking Slowly and Looking Around Corners”. Because that’s all anyone ever did for the majority of the suspenseful scenes.

I really can’t give this movie accolades. The soundtrack was forgettable. The quality of the shots was forgettable. The cast: “The American soldier from Zero-Dark Thirty”, John Lithgow, and forgettable supporting actors. The story itself, while I’ve never read the book, was interesting and unique. The idea of burying pets (or a whole family of humans, in this case) in a specific site and having them be able to rise again isn’t one I’ve heard before. So, well done Mr. King.

Good movie? Not in my book. Scary movie? Nope. The trailer was scarier.

Sickle and Efrit Horror Rubric:

Horror Qualifier: 9/10

Horror Quality: 5/10

Film Quality: 5/10

Signing off and sighing heavily,

-Final Girl

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