For the first time this year I have been to the cinema! Time flies when your busy, really busy, but finally I was able to go out with my significant other and we chose to see the latest Stephen King film adaptation Pet Sematary….
Before we start, you must know Pet Semetary (which I read a few years ago) is in fact my favorite Stephen King novel, so as you expect there’s a lot riding on my expectations, this is a home game for me and I’m looking for a win. I have also seen the early 90’s adaptation which felt more like a TV film than anything remotely near cinema, so here we go…
For those who haven’t had the pleasure of reading my once in a blue moon movie reviews, I don’t give away major spoilers, I want readers to be persuaded to see a film that I came away liking, and I liked this a lot.
Pet Semetary does a fantastic job in probably being more of a remake than adaptation of the actual book although this time around we see more detail in some areas. Overall you’re never going to get the detail of the book, which is quite an extensive read and screenwriters can only cram in so much in a few hours.
Main character Louis Creed and his young family (all of which were perfectly cast) are moving into their new home in rural Maine. Both Jason Clarke and Amy Seimetz fit perfectly as the Creeds and look like a real couple (no Hollywood glamour here) alongside their likeable and curious daughter Ellie (Jeté Laurence, who may have stolen the show), of course there is the younger sibling and son Gage, who considering his young age did an awesome job. They have a cat, that’s not a major plot point or anything…
The story differs a little compared to both the earlier film and book, something which made for an unexpected turn of twists later on. The neighbor across the road Jud Crandall played by John Lithgow may have been the most perfect of castings since Robbie Coltrane became Hagrid and his relationship is a little different for the film but makes for events to happen quicker than they do in the book.
What I liked the most about Pet Semetary; book and this film is the level of darkness the story goes to, and there are a few moments in this film that capture the essence of what the book achieved. Death, no matter the circumstances, is a dark thing and those concepts in this film will make the characters spiral into madness. There is also a huge psychological element that preys on some character’s minds, making it as creepy as ‘IT’ in places, of course there are a few jump scares but I found in this film to be less action stuff and more of the deeper darker mind stuff. It’s the ultimate ‘what if’ scenarios that play in the back of our deep conscience and this film was done very well.
Pet Semetary is probably never going to win any awards but the performances are strong, the cinematography is great and the overall production does the book justice. The locations and sets were awesome. I even loved the fact they have re made the Pet Semetary song which played after a different but good solid ending.