Film FestivalsMovie ReviewsSXSW 2019: Pet Sematary Review

Keith NoakesMarch 17, 2019

This will be one of many reviews during this year’s SXSW Film Festival, to keep up with our latest coverage, click here.

Synopsis: Louis Creed, his wife Rachel, and their two children Gage and Ellie move to a rural home where they are welcomed and enlightened about the eerie ‘Pet Sematary’ located nearby. After the tragedy of their cat being killed by a truck, Louis resorts to burying it in the mysterious pet cemetery, which is definitely not as it seems, as it proves to the Creeds that sometimes, dead is better. (IMDB)

Starring: Jason Clarke, Amy Seimetz, and John Lithgow

Writer: Jeff Buhler

Directors: Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer

Rating: n/a

Running Time: 120mins


Thirty years after the release of the original Pet Sematary, based on the book by Stephen King, here comes a new adaptation that does take some creative liberties with the source material. However, those unfamiliar with the source material or any other film adaptation (such as myself) should be fine here. What was unfortunate about this film was that it definitely sets the stage, creating a spooky ambiance through immersive sound design, a powerful score, and some great cinematography, but it fails to deliver a compelling enough story.

A heavy theme throughout the film would be that of grief. The story was about a man named Louis Creed (Clarke) who along with his wife Rachel (Seimetz) and family moved to a rural home to wind down their lives. Little did they know, their property would be home to an ominous pet cemetery (named “Pet Semetary”) with special abilities including bringing things back from the dead. Those familiar with the book more or less know what happens from there but suffice it to say that things would get worse for the Creeds. The tension was definitely there while encountering plenty of the usual jump scares aided by the excellent ambiance, however, the story was far too slow and almost dull and didn’t go far enough. By the time anything interesting happened, the film was pretty much over.

The acting was good across the board and at least kept things interesting though it just wasn’t enough. Clarke was somewhat compelling to watch and showed some excellent range as Louis. The same was the case for Seimetz as Rachel who is arguably overshadowed by Clarke. Ultimately, the performance that will be remembered the most was from Jeté Laurence as Louis and Rachel’s daughter Ellie. She was impressive for reasons that will be evident while watching.

Overall, Pet Sematary is an unsettling horror film that definitely sets the scene but fails to deliver a satisfying story despite its good performances. By the time it gets exciting, the movie ends. At the end of the day, Jeté Laurence is a name to look out for in the future.

Score: 6.5/10

If you liked this, please read our other reviews here and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter or Instagram or like us on Facebook.


Blog Stats

  • 875,359 hits

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 8,127 other subscribers

%d bloggers like this: