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Pet Sematary

A movie directed by Mary Lambert

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"It's your place....and you belong to it"....

  • Jul 5, 2000
Pros: Gwynne

Cons: The rest of the movie

What could have been a really spooky story has instead turned into a slam-shocker, my term for movies that shock for no reason. One would have expected better since King himself adapted his novel into the screenplay, however he has admitted this was the only novel that truly scared him. Perhaps this caused him to hold back a little or maybe it is true that King cannot be adapted to the visual.

Actors aka no acting
The acting, with the exception of Gwynne, was flat showing little emotion or involvement in the story. Maybe the entire premise of the story held the actors back as well. Fred Gwynne, however, was a perfect selection as the surly neighbor. His physical features and his attitude, along with his dry humor worked quite well to the stereotypical ‘Mainhead'. King, of course, has his cameo spot as he does in all his movies, this time as the preacher ~ ah, the thwarted actor in all of us.

Dale Midkiff and Denise Crosby blew wind (that is the closest thing that will pass censorship). While I'm not saying this is a Gone With the Wind or anything like that, the story held enough creditability so that they could have inserted a little emotion into their roles.

While I understood WHY they had to use the Victor Pascow (Brad Greenquist) character in the way they did, I found it to be a little unsettling. In all, I found the movie a little stilted. The scenes flowed somewhat smoothly and the cinematography was decent enough, considering the subject. I feel the fault lies with really poor directing (Mary Lambert) and a flat screenplay (<gasp> Stephen King).

Oh, geez, the story......I forgot the friggin story
Midkiff and Crosby, along with children and cat, move to Maine. Midkiff is to be the new doctor. He runs into his first eerie experience with the demise of Pascow. Secondly, his neighbor (Gwynne) recounts the tale of the Pet Sematary and all it implies.

When the family pet is killed by a car, Midkiff takes it to the Sematary, it returns alive but evil. Later, when his son is killed as well.............'nuf said. There is a lot of behind the scenes story things going on as well but so poorly joined and acted I just blew them off, sorry.

One star just because it deserves it and one star for Gwynne. Do not bring the kiddies to the viewing room.

p.s. the spelling of Sematary was deliberate.


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Susi Dawson ()
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About this movie


Director Mary Lambert's (THE IN CROWD) second film is a very underrated rendering of a Stephen King bestseller. In it a young family, the Creeds have recently moved to a new neighborhood where they very quickly lose their cat, which is run over by a speeding truck. The Creed's neighbor, Jud (Fred Gwynne), feeling bad for the family, tells Mr. Creed (Dale Midkiff) about the secret Indian burial ground in the neighborhood, which has mysterious rejuvenating powers. However, when the Creed's infant son meets a fate similar to the family pet, Mr. Creed can't resist temptation and he brings an unspeakable evil back from the grave.
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Cast: Miko Hughes
Director: Mary Lambert
Release Date: 1989
MPAA Rating: R
DVD Release Date: Paramount Home Entertainment (September 26, 2006)
Runtime: 1hr 43min
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