Pet Sematary (1989) - Mary Lambert


Mary Lambert


Dale Midkiff,
Fred Gwynne,
Denise Crosby,
and Miko Hughes


Dramatic Supernatural Zombie Thriller - Stephen King




Paramount Pictures

This movie scared the crap out of me. I had nightmares for a long time. It literally ruined my sleep during my 8 year old summer. It was so effective, so scary. The story is so damn good. Stephen King is a master. He has been such a cornerstone of the genre for so many years. This story is a testament to that. Both the movie and book are amazing. I was more than excited to watch and review this one.

The Creed family, Louis, Rachel, Ellie, and Gage, move into a small house that sits on a dangerous highway. Across that highway lives Jud. An elderly man that has lived in the area for the better part of a century. Shortly after moving into the house, the family discovers a strange path leading to a Pet Cemetery. 

When Ellie's cat Church dies, Jud takes Louis into a secret part of the Cemetery to bury it. A bad part. The cat comes back but the cat is changed. Jud explains to Louis that the Cemetery is sour and anything buried there doesn't stay in the ground. This doesn't stop Louis from screwing everything up and burying just about anything dead he could find. 

You know your watching a REAL Stephen King movie when he makes an appearance in it. That's how you know Pet Sematary is an official King flick. For me, the story is the strongest part of this movie. It's so absorbing. The acting is pretty average. It's nothing amazing. All the same, the acting fits this specific picture pretty well.

This isn't just another classic case of the book being superior to the movie, but both mediums here share a similar quality. Parts of this movie will stay with you. They are not exactly hard to watch. It's just horrific. Not just the evil reanimated bodies, but also the underlaying dread and side stories. The story about Zelda specifically. It makes me shudder. 

Then when you think that this movie is nothing more than just a suspenseful zombie thriller, boom! This movie breaks your heart. It takes your heart out and kicks it against the wall. When that happens, it's kind of the point at which this movie becomes so effective. If you don't like this movie then you will at least end up remembering some part of it. 

Horror movies are made to bring out a response in the viewer. In the most basic cases it's fear. This movie touches on all sorts of feelings. I don't guarantee that you will love this film, but you will recall scenes and parts of it for years. It hangs on you. The Stephen King factor will attract casual horror movie fans. Just don't expect them to sleep well. 

Did ya know...

The role of Zelda, Rachel's dying sister, was played by a man. Director Mary Lambert wanted Zelda and her scenes to frighten the audience but did not believe that a 13-year old girl was scary so she cast Andrew Hubatsek in the role to make something be "off about Zelda".
Bruce Campbell was the first choice for the role of Louis Creed.
Stephen King once mentioned that the only novel he wrote that really scared him was Pet Sematary.