'Pet Sematary' (2019) Film Review w/ SPOILERS

Updated on April 6, 2019
Benjaminwollmuth profile image

Benjamin Wollmuth is a lover of literature who loves to share his thoughts on everything from movies and video games to books and music.


Pet Sematary

The newest Stephen King adaptation has arrived! Not only is it an adaptation of the novel, but it is also a remake of the 1989 film by the same name. Before I start, I just want to let you know that in order to aid in my explanations of why I liked or disliked different aspects of the film, I will be comparing this film to the 1989 original. I will be talking spoilers for this movie and the original... you have been warned.

The Verdict

Pet Sematary is not very good. I am a huge horror fan, so I was really looking forward to this film. Yet, to me, the film falls flat with it's weird changes to the original story, as well as with its big push for jump scares. Even with all of its changes, the film fails to be anything different.

The Characters

I am going to talk briefly about the characters because I will be talking about a lot of them later when I talk about the choices the film made. I will say that I had no issues with any of the acting in the film. Jason Clarke is a great actor... I just have issues with his character that I will get into later. John Lithgow also does a remarkable job, as usual... but once again, I have some issues with his character. So, let's not hesitate. Let's get into this.


The Changes

This movie follows the same plot as the book and the original film but makes some huge changes along the way. While I don't find it scary, I very much enjoy the Pet Sematary of 1989. It was a fun time and very well acted, with decisions that made sense. The screenplay for that film was written by Stephen King, so it made sense that it stayed close to the book. The Pet Sematary of 2019, however, is not written by Stephen King... and you can really tell. Firstly, the characters seem to have different motivations. Instead of Louis feeling like a man with tons of grief over the loss of his cat and his kid, this movie makes him seem like he has more sinister motives. When his daughter is brought back to life, he tries forcing his wife to accept her, even when he knows how creepy the whole thing is. Jud even seems to be a lot more intense in this movie than he was in the original. Secondly, the older daughter is killed rather than the younger son. This is a change I can sort of understand, but it gets worse. Way worse.

The Horror!

I feel that writers decided to kill Ellie, the daughter, to make things more creepy. She's older, so she understands the world more than Gage (the son). Yet, the writers were wrong. I think that the boy is a lot creepier in the original film than the girl is in this one. They try to make it more intense, but for me, it doesn't work. Ellie just has some really cringy dialogue and then decides to kill everyone who doesn't accept the fact that she's alive again. Stretching out that intense scene took me out of the film.

There's another aspect of this film that I didn't enjoy. This movie relies too much on jump scares! It tries to build intensity but fails. So, they go for another route: jump scares! It felt like just another horror movie. There was nothing special about it. They didn't try to do anything different. Just jump scare, after jump scare, after jump scare! Good horror movies don't need jump scares to be scary. This movie must have realized it wasn't good.

The biggest jump scare issue I had was with Rachel (the mom) and her dead sister. Towards the beginning of the movie, she tells a story to Louis about her sister that had spinal meningitis, rendering her almost immovable. Long story short, her sister dies and she blames herself for it. The writers could have stopped there. They gave us a reason for why Rachel is afraid of death and that's all they needed to do. Yet, they kept bringing the sister back in weird visions that Rachel had... in order to have more jump scares. That's at least what it felt like for me because they didn't add anything to the plot at all.

The Ending

The ending was the part of the film that really made me decide that I didn't like this film too much. The ending to the original film, to me, made sense. This ending was just dumb. Undead Ellie crosses the street to kill Jud. She then comes back home to kill her mother. After killing her mother, she takes the body to the cemetery in order to bury her and turn her into another undead monster. Louis locks Gage in the car and chases after Ellie. After confronting Ellie and almost winning, he is stabbed in the back by his now undead wife. We then see the entire undead family walking towards Gage in the locked car, presumably planning on making him undead, too.

The ending to the original film and the book is so good because Louis feels he could try one last time to make things better for him. So, he brings his dead wife back to life... but she kills him. I don't need to see an undead family living on to do God-knows-what. I get it... they wanted it to be more intense. Well, I am sorry... it didn't work.

The Rating

I don't hate everything about his movie... I just dislike a lot of the changes made in the film. They tried to be really intense and scary by adding jump scares, but it didn't work. In all honesty, I would rather watch the original. At least that movie was more tight with its plot threads and intensity. I am going to give Pet Sematary (2019) a 5/10.

© 2019 Benjamin Wollmuth


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, reelrundown.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)