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  • Gareth Crook

Pet Sematary (1989) - 7/10

You’d assume you’re in safe hands with a film based on a Stephen King book and not only that but adapted for the screen by him too. Louis (Dale Midkiff) and Rachel (Denise Crosby), arrive in town with their daughter Ellie (Blaze Berdahl) and her baby brother Gage (Miko Hughes). It’s a small idyllic town, safe you’d think, but it’s quickly apparent that it’s not. For starters their neighbour is Herman Munster! Although to be clear, Fred Gwynne here is Jud Crandall, a local with blue denim dungarees and a straw hat. He knows something about the mysterious path behind the families new house. It leads of course to the Pet Sematary, a local requirement due to the busy road that runs right by their house, populated by fast moving trucks, that well… kill pets. Louis is the new doctor in town and finds himself thrown in at the deep end with something bigger than just dead pets. Granted it seems a bit simple on the surface, but as Louis discovers with Jud’s help that there’s more to his new home, so do we. Disturbing waking nightmares, reincarnation, some gnarly gore, some very upsetting deaths and the aforementioned Mr King making a cameo. It keeps you on your toes! It’s not at all simple, there’s plenty to unpack around the subject of death and this deftly broaches it from several angles. Sometimes with The Ramones playing, what more could you want! Gwynne is fantastic in every sense of the word. As is Brad Greenquist who plays Victor Pascow, a walking corpse who helpfully ties together this world and the next for the characters still living. It’s not the best film ever. I’m sure the book is better, but it is very good and you’d be right to put your faith in King. The moral of the story, “Sometimes dead is better”. Oh and never move house, that never goes well in films does it.



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