20 April 2014

Pet Sematary (1989)
101 min.
Directed by Mary Lambert.
With Dale Midkiff, Denise Crosby, Fred Gwynne, Brad Greenquist, Blaze Berdahl, Miko Hughes.
A rather lackluster adaptation of the original Stephen King novel published in 1983.

The Creed family moves to a new house near an old pet cemetery with some adjacent burial grounds.

But these supernatural burial grounds aren't your typical resting place. In fact, the deceased there do anything but rest.

Seems once they're buried, the dead will rise again, their bodies miraculously reanimated.

They'll look the same as they did in life. They sound the same. But they're possessed by a murderous streak in their hearts to kill, kill, kill!

After their son Gage (Hughes) dies in a terrible car accident, Creed patriarch Louis (Midkiff) buries the boy in the macabre pet cemetery. Soon, Gage is back among the living...but things will never be the same again.

Pet Sematary has a good premise going for it - namely the reanimation of the corpses - both animal and human. Too bad the schtick here can't really sustain the lack of story or underdevelopment of its characters.

And by the time we get to Louis reanimating his dead wife Rachel (Crosby), Pet Sematary starts to feel like a parody of some overwrought zombie soap opera.

Director Lambert, who gained a reputation for creating some of Madonna's better known music videos, lends this a glossy polish. But the whole thing feels strangely detached and soulless. (Then again, maybe that was the intent all along.)

And poor Fred Gwynne as the Creeds neighbor Jud. His acting is good here, but it proved difficult for us to accept him as anybody other than Herman Munster!

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