Pet Sematary

January 28, 2012 6 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

It seems that as long as Stephen King keeps cranking out his novels, they will eventually become eithe a motion picture or a TV movie. King has had his successes with both. Recent works like “Storm of the Century” and “The Stand” are great examples of his works turned into great TV movies. Recent movies like “The Green Mile” and “The Shawshank Redemption” show that his stories can and have translate well on to the big screen. But King has had his other works fall somewhere in between. Now don’t get me wrong, King’s works like “Misery” and “Cujo” are some of my favorites, but there’s also his movies that we’re probably ashamed to admit seeing…This brings us to Pet Sematary. Pet Sematary was one of King’s more popular books and hence it was only a matter of time before it became a movie. The basic plot being that a cemetary where people buried their pets and they come back to life. In a nutshell, that’s it.

This brings us to Louis (David Midkiff) and Rachael Creed (Denise Crosby). Louis and Rachael have two kids, Gage and Ellie, and move from the big city of Chicago to a small Maine town. Louis is to take over the duties of the town doctor and it seems that all is well and happy. This being a Stephen King book (and screenplay), we know this won’t really happen. They meet their neighbor across the street, Jud (Fred Gwynne) who answers their immediate question of a rocky path leading off into the woods. No sooner said than done, Jud leads them into the forest and explains the signifigance of what they’re seeing. Spooked by the whole ordeal, the family leaves it at that and it’s not long (of course) before the family cat mysteriously gets hit by a truck. The family is gone and Louis finds out that there is another cemetary that can bring the dead back to the living. Not wanting to see his daughter upset, Louis takes the dead cat and sure enough…it’s back from the dead! There is, though, something different about the cat. Whereas once it was a nice, friendly cat; now it’s mean and evil. But that passes and they seem to get used to the crabby cat, and what was Louis’ main concern, the daughter never notices. But the real tragic part of Pet Sematary is when the son, Gage, is hit by a truck and dies. We see this cute little kid mauled by an 18-wheeler and know what’s going to happen next…

Alongside all of this mess is Victor Pascow. Victor is someone who Louis has tried to save, but died. He trapses around the rest of the movie in somewhat of a ghost form that no one can really see or hear except Louis. Constantly warning of the dangers of the “polluted soil”, Victor is easily dismissed as a nuicance as opposed to any real threat. One thing leads to another and soon the bodies start stacking up, and we know that it’s only a matter of time before everyone gets it. Or do they? Pet Sematary is one of those movies I saw when it first came out and had it’s scary parts. Now I watch it and see through most of it, dismissing most of the “action” sequences as crap. Still, King’s screenplay is very inventive and original and the movie was successful enough to inspire a sequel (aptly titled “Pet Sematary II”). If this is your bag, then you’ll have the movie only to watch as this DVD contains no extras. As for me, I might bury this one in the backyard…

Video: How does it look?

Paramount, clearly (no pun intended) on a streak that is showing no signs of slowing down, has enhanced this DVD with an anamorphic transfer. The 1.85:1 image is a bit muddled at times, but for the most part looks to be a very clean print. As you can guess, most of the movie takes place during the nighttime and the picture tackles it well. I noticed a few bits of artifacting here and there, but for the most part it was nice to see this movie as it was meant to be seen. I wish I could say the same for the movie…

Audio: How does it sound?

Another plus for Paramount, they tend to remaster their movies in 5.1 sound. In addition to the Ramones “Pet Sematary” track playing during the ending credits, the soundtrack is quite active. I noticed, quite a few times in the movie, that the rear channels were activated. A few times, when the cat is walking around or Gabe is running around the house, it’s only the rear channels playing. To my suprise, this added a lot of tension to the movie and i was glad to see that a movie 10 years old had such discrete effects. Kudos here, Paramount.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This DVD contians no extras (unless you count a French track).

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