3/4

Pet Sematary [2019] ★★★

To say that this version of Stephen King’s “Pet Sematary” surpasses the 1989 original would be an understatement. The old one was a product of its time and never truly rose above the routine. The new one doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it’s well-made, perfectly cast, and it left me shattered. For that, credit director Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer for staging some of the best horror sequences I’ve seen in a Stephen King movie. Jason Clarke leads a great cast as Dr. Louis Creed, a family man who leaves the city with his wife and two children to settle in the quiet rural Maine. But is it as peaceful as it appears to be? Soon they’ll discover a mysterious burial ground hidden behind their home…and this is my cue to shut up. The less you know about the story the better (just in case you’re not familiar with the book or the old film). Part of the movie’s impact is our ability to root for this family (something that was missing from the first version). God knows we’ve seen so many horror movies about a family who experiences unnatural things. But there’s something about this version of “Pet Sematary” that creeps at you, and refuses to let go. Kudos to Kolsch and Widmyer for creating a tension-filled atmosphere that has the ability to fry your nerves and scare the living day out of you. It truly is the stuff of nightmares.

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