Pet Sematary (1989) Review: A Creepy Look at Child-Rearing

“Sometimes dead is better.”

Synopsis: Behind a young family’s home in Maine is a terrible secret that holds the power of life after death. When tragedy strikes, the threat of that power soon becomes undeniable.

Pet Sematary (1989) Review Poster
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Calamity Brains:

I don’t read Stephen King, so I had few preconceived notions about Pet Sematary before seeing it. I was vaguely aware of the premise for the first half of the movie, and knew nothing about the second half. Due mostly to the movie’s name, I was expecting something fairly silly.

To my surprise, Pet Sematary was good. Well, let me restate that – Pet Sematary would have been good with better actors. Dale Midkiff and Denise Crosby were only decent at best. (Fred Gwynne and kids Blaze Berdahl and Miko Hughes all managed to hold their own, though.) Even with the mediocre acting and odd premise, the movie was still fairly creepy. I enjoyed it all the way through, and was never too distracted by the poor choices of the actors.

The makeup and effects did a lot to support the unsettling atmosphere of the movie. In particular, Brad Greenquist‘s makeup was delightfully gruesome, and made his appearances consistently startling. A large number of horror movies focus on just blood or maybe entrails; in this case, use of a head wound was particularly creepy and really helped sell the grim undertones of the plot.

On top of all that, Pet Sematary has an awesome (and classic) theme song written by the Ramones. What’s not to like?

Yes, it could have been better with better actors, but I was still pleasantly surprised by Pet Sematary. It managed to pull off an unnerving plot with grace, even with serious limitations. It’s also different enough from the generic slasher horror movie that it makes for a nice change. Give this one a try.

Calamity Brains’ Rating: B-
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Did You Know 1: Pet Sematary (1989)Did You Know 2: Pet Sematary (1989)Did You Know 3: Pet Sematary (1989)

Calamity Brains

The Codex Mortis Horror Hosts (Ludwig von Stroodle and Calamity Brains) are married and live in West Virginia. Pretty much everyone who sees their cabin agrees that it would be an ideal setting for a horror movie. Their pets include a black widow spider, a smart dog, and a stupid dog. When they aren’t watching horror movies, they can be found at whiskey festivals, Renaissance fairs, and board game nights.

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