A burial ground blurs the line between life and death.
The new Pet Sematary “nails the tone of one of Stephen King’s most sinister tales,” said Ryan Oliver in ThePlaylist.net. As in the 1983 novel—and 1989 adaptation—a family of four moves to Maine and discovers a pet cemetery on their wooded property, used by children in the small town. But the Creeds soon learn that anything buried there in the right way—starting with the family cat—returns to life, albeit in twisted form. That knowledge weighs heavily on the father when the household suffers a graver loss. The film’s co-directors “do a decent job of creating atmosphere,” but fall short elsewhere, said Peter Debruge in Variety. Because the streamlined screenplay “sacrifices the kind of eccentric personal details King uses to connect us with the characters,” it’s hard to care about individual family members, and the screenplay also omits the ruminations on grief and mortality “that made the novel’s ludicrous story so effective.” But this is a modern horror movie—the kind in which “laughs and screams often accompany one another,” said Lindsey Romain in Nerdist.com. If moviegoers aren’t looking for a rehash of the 1989 film, they’re “in for a wicked treat.”
Steve Wilkie, Martin Valentin Menke, Kerry Hayes ■