Directors: Kevin Kölsch, Dennis Widmyer
Cast: Jason Clarke, Amy Seimetz, John Lithgow
Release Date: July 9, 2019
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 8/10
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
After the Creed family relocates from Boston to rural Maine, they soon discover an ancient burial ground hidden deep in the woods near their new home. When tragedy strikes, the grief-stricken father is driven by the cemetery’s sinister power, setting off a perilous chain of events that unleashes an unfathomable evil with horrific consequences. Some secrets are best left buried in this twisted thriller.
The new adaption of Stephen King’s shocking novel ‘Pet Sematary’ joins the Creed family as they arrive at their new home in rural Maine after leaving the populated city of Boston in order to begin anew. Initially it appears to be a hopeful chance at a quieter and even happier life, but when their daughter’s beloved cat is found dead after an accident and buried in an old Indian burial ground within their property line, it returns home from the grave later that night. But the cat’s return from the dead brings it back changed, while also initiating a pattern of violence, terror and unimaginable loss that only becomes increasingly worse as one desperate decision leads to another, eventually threatening their entire family and everything important to them.
Directed by the filmmaking duo of Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer (Starry Eyes) from a screen story by Matt Greenberg (1408) and a screenplay by Jeff Buhler (The Midnight Meat Train) and of course based upon Stephen King’s novel of the same name respectively, Kölsch and Widmyer do a great overall job at the helm of the new ‘Pet Sematary’ film guiding along the tale with care and creepy style. The film also owes its share of credit to the capable folks who comprise the cast including Jason Clarke (Terminator: Genisys), Amy Seimetz (You’re Next), John Lithgow (Interstellar), Jeté Laurence (TV’s Sneaky Pete) and more, the majority offering solid performances for the most part in each of their respective roles.
The new film adaption of Stephen King’s unforgettable novel ‘Pet Sematary’ is an eerie, emotional and in its own way quite touching ride into madness and pain that never hesitates to delve into the unsettling and painful aspects, while also taking plenty of necessary time to explore the tamer and less horror oriented elements within and therefore helping us to truly care for this family once things start to go horribly wrong for them. It’s a smartly crafted approach to the material overall (although my opinion is meant only in comparison to the novel by Stephen King itself as curiously enough I never actually saw the original film adaption from 1989 in its entirety), most notably with its spectacular visual style which helps to create a landscape and general aura that’s as gorgeous as it is gloomy, perfectly capturing the grieving tone so prominent within the tale. The film may alter its share of content from the book and even makes some drastic changes, yet always makes certain to do so with care while also managing to consistently keep things in line with the tone and heart of the famous source material, never detracting from the bigger picture, and in many instances also offering a few pleasant surprises along the way for those who are thoroughly familiar with Stephen King’s touching, terrifying and heart wrenching tale. While additionally bringing many other aspects to stunning life in ways we never quite imagined but at the same time upon reflection can instantly envision arising straight from the pages.
Overall, the latest film adaption of ‘Pet Sematary’ is a creepy, unsettling and in its own way quite beautiful film that most King and horror fans should have a great deal of fun with. Especially if you can roll with the few noteworthy changes throughout that some diehard fans seem troubled by, although I actually found quite clever, especially in its ability to also stay true to the tone and soul of the overall story at the same time. This new film adaptation of Stephen King’s famous novel ‘Pet Sematary’ is definitely highly recommend, both for fans of King’s work (and the novel in particular) and genre fans who should both find quite a bit to appreciate within. If nothing else it’s likely to at least prove worthy of a couple hours and the price of a rental for anyone already the slightest bit interested in checking it out.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Pet Sematary’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks magnificent as a whole and offers a sharp, smooth and clean presentation from start to finish with no noticeable faults or issues to be found along the way. It holds up impressively even during the numerous notably dark sequences, never allowing anything onscreen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a wonderful high definition video presentation that should more than satisfy both fans of the film and first time viewers.
The Blu-ray release features a Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel compatible) soundtrack. Please note that this review pertains solely to the Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio presentation. This multichannel soundtrack is outstanding and delivers a crisp, smooth and quite active audio presentation throughout. It constantly takes full advantage of all seven available channels in order to assault the viewer with nature effects, creepy sounds and much more flooding the various speakers whenever fitting and never resulting in any dialogue or other audio activity that might be occurring simultaneously becoming distorted or rendered inaudible in the process. Overall, this is a fantastic Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible) soundtrack that sounds consistently magnificent and perfectly complements the overall viewing experience.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Pet Sematary’ includes a number of solid extras that fans should appreciate. Included on the release is the 4-part Making of Documentary ‘Beyond the Deadfall’ (running approximately 61 minutes in length) which chronicles the lengthy process of bringing the film to life and features interviews/comments with members of the cast and crew, plus tons of behind the scenes footage and more. We are also treated to an ‘Alternate Ending’ (running approximately 9 minutes in length) along with a collection of ‘Deleted Scenes’ from the movie (running approximately 16 minutes altogether) and a few other clips/deleted footage including ‘The Tale of Timmy Bateman’ (approximately 3 minutes) and ‘Night Terrors’ which is broken down by the family member’s experiences and includes segments for ‘Louis’ (approximately 2 minutes), ‘Rachel’ (2 minutes) and ‘Ellie’ (1 minute).