Pet Sematary (1989)
March 20, 2023 11:15 AM - Subscribe

[TRAILER] Louis (Dale Midkiff) and Rachel (Denise Crosby) move their family into the country house of their dreams and discover a pet cemetery at the back of their property. The cursed burial ground deep in the woods brings the dead back to life -- with "minor" problems. At first, only the family's cat makes the return trip, but an accident forces a heartbroken father to contemplate the unthinkable.

Also starring Fred Gwynne, Brad Greenquist, Michael Lombard, Miko Hughes, Blaze Berdahl, Stephen King.

Directed by Mary Lambert. Screenplay by Stephen King, based on his novel. Score by Elliot Goldenthal. Fetauring a theme song by The Ramones.

51% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

Currently streaming in the US on Amazon Prime, Paramount Plus, and MGM Plus. Also available for digital rental. JustWatch listing.
posted by DirtyOldTown (10 comments total)
We watched this other day. I think it's better than it got credit for. Nothing happens that will surprise anyone who is familiar with the book, or even monkey's paw scenarios in general. But the sequences are well-played and the kid who plays Gage Creed gives one of the all-time best creepy little kid performances.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:17 AM on March 20, 2023 [2 favorites]

I still quote this movie in Fred Gwynne's voice, saying "Sometimes dead is better."
posted by rikschell at 3:03 PM on March 20, 2023 [4 favorites]

I saw this alone in the theater on release. I still shudder when I think of Zelda!
posted by cupcakeninja at 5:07 PM on March 20, 2023 [1 favorite]

I'm putting this one in the "Book is better" column of King adaptations. The book was a profoundly moving example of one of King's more downbeat books, based directly on his once having lived in a house on a busy road like the one that the Creeds live on and having had young children at the time. Even with the zombie cannibal stuff, the most difficult part of the book is dealing with the in-laws after the kid dies. But the movie? Just didn't have that mojo, IMO. My reaction was mostly along the lines of, "Denise Crosby left TNG so that she could do stuff like this?"
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:51 PM on March 20, 2023

Oh oh oh, just saw this in the Wikipedia article: 'Guillermo del Toro said that he would love to make his own version of Pet Sematary saying "You know the novel that I would have killed to adapt, and I know there’s two versions of it, and I still think maybe in a deranged universe I get to do it again one day is Pet Sematary. Because it not only has the very best final couple of lines, but it scared me when I was a young man. As a father, I now understand it better than I ever would have, and it scares me a hundred times more.""

please please please
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:54 PM on March 20, 2023 [7 favorites]

I think del Toro kind of nails why this movie isn't everything it should have been. It's a movie about adults, but it feels like it was made for 16-year-olds. Questions about mortality, fidelity, and providing a better life for one's family are just not concerns that 16-year-olds have, and the movie doesn't really have them, but the novel does. Now, I'm all for muscular 90-minute horror movies, which is what this is; it's fun and never slows down. But it's a shallow, neo grindhouse take on a pretty rich book.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:19 AM on March 21, 2023 [2 favorites]

I thought the movie was scary up to the point where Louis is fighting a doll. Either get a two year old who can do his own stunts or don't shoot the scene.
posted by riruro at 8:29 AM on March 21, 2023

I still quote this movie in Fred Gwynne's voice, saying "Sometimes dead is better."

I'm not a fan of the movie as a whole but I am a big admirer of Gwynne's performance and I also enjoy doing the Gwynne voice. "Sometimes dead is better" is the clear winner but don't discount "the soil of a man's heart is stonier".
posted by Parasite Unseen at 1:56 PM on March 22, 2023

Or even just a hearty "Ayuh."
posted by DirtyOldTown at 5:54 AM on March 23, 2023 [1 favorite]

I still shudder when I think of Zelda!

I was 10 or 11 when this movie came out and it messed me up.
posted by Literaryhero at 4:54 AM on April 17, 2023

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