‘Pet Sematary’ Remade Doesn’t Capture Magic of Original


The new adaptation of the Stephen King classic novel Pet Sematary is directed by Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer and distributed through Paramount Pictures. As many know, movies based on novels by Mr. King have been known for being subpar at best, but one of the few universally enjoyed Stephen King movies is the original 1989 Pet Sematary. Does the new 2019 version live up to its predecessor, or does it fall back into the same pattern of mediocrity? 

The film at the very least looks nice, and the set location has an innocent little suburban feel to it. The way it’s shot gives off an unsettling vibe throughout the entire movie: almost everything seems nice, but something is just a little bit off, and kind of giving the feeling of being trapped in this town. 

The cast of the movie for the most part does the novel and the original film adaptation justice, and the film’s cinematography is beautifully grave (pun intended) and gruesome in detail. 

The main problem with the moviethough, is the character development. Most of the first act was done pretty well, but once the story gets into the supernatural aspect of the story, more and more faults start pop up. Towards of the end film of the characters become pretty-unlikeable with most of the conflict in this film easily avoidable. It’s very hard to root for any of these characters when they’re constantly making poor decisions. Some of the bad decisions in this adaption come from the changes to the story from the book. 

The sequences that were changed from the original film adaptation are more personal and leave a more threatening impression on the audience. There is a scene where a character experiences a vision of their dark childhood. Because the scene took place in a much more intimate setting, it had a more effective scare. This is the case with many scenes throughout the film. 


This version takes surprising twists on the original story of the novel and 1989 film, some for the good, and others not so much. The film follows the Creed family as they are moving into their new home in rural Maine. As before, they soon discover a burial ground deep in the woods by the name of The Pet Sematary. As you would expect this is where the rural residents go to bury their dead pets, but there is something more sinister going on. 

One of the main changes is when the character Ellie dies instead of her brother Gage. This change makes for a more intimidating threat through the third act. After all, a nine-year old girl is a lot more threatening than a toddler, But the third act suffers from the direction this change takes on the narrative. The movie ends with a much darker tone than the original story.  

Besides this, the suspense is handled very well, but beyond that there aren’t many scenes that will flat out scare youin fact some of them might end up making you laugh. 

Pet Sematary 2019 tries to be new, but overall the film does not capture the magic of the original film even if some aspects of the movies are on par, if not betterthe original 1989 version.