This is a below average horror film that is imminently miss-able.
If you want to quickly see the plot of this movie simply watch the trailer. Speeding semis pass on a country road in front of a house in Maine and you know that nothing good can result with a young female child wandering in its vicinity. Both the movie and the trailer leave you thinking the same thing, namely, what in God’s name were the parents thinking?
In summary fashion, Lewis and Rachel Creed (Jason Clarke and Amy Seimetz) move with their two children from Boston to a rural home in Maine. As noted above, despite this being a country setting, a two lane road runs in front of their home where semis roar by at incredible speeds. While this movie has many weaknesses, the first is that the community didn’t rise up and demand that the trucks honor a speed limit to avoid tragedy.
Regardless, the family quickly discovers a pet cemetery where locals march wearing ludicrous cat masks to bury an animal. When the Creeds’ cat is killed by a semi, Dad seeks a way to tell his daughter when he receives incredible information from Jud Crandall (John Lithgow), a reclusive neighbor, that he needs to bury the cat in a strange location beyond the cemetery. Told that this location somehow results in the dead coming back to life, the Creeds are astonished to find their cat reappearing in the home.
However, it quickly becomes evident that this cat is now one nasty animal, and I won’t say any more other than to warn you of what happens in this film when the Creeds’ daughter Ellie is struck and killed by a truck. Guess where Dad is going to bury her?
My niece is a movie fan and she told me in advance that this film was saved by a surprise ending. However, I must respectfully disagree with her conclusion, as nothing happens that is remotely unpredictable.
Let me say that I really respect the talent of Jason Clarke, an Australian film star who has already made his mark in several movies. As an example, take the time to watch Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002), Zero Dart Thirty (2012), Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014), last year’s First Man and his role as Ted Kennedy in Chappaquiddick (2017). While even he, along with Mr. Lithgow, cannot save Pet Sematary, they do make it mildly tolerable.
There is an old saying “let the dead bury the dead.” It is unfortunate that Pet Sematary did not provide a place to bury misguided films along with animals. On the other hand, this movie is a rehash of the original, so who knows?