Pet Sematary, 2019
Signed up the 28/03/2017
Pet Sematary adapts horror master Stephen King's bleak, quietly violent and bone-chilling novel of the same name. The story follows a family who moves to rural Maine for a quieter, steadier life. The house they move to is adjacent to a pet cemetery, and this landmark happens to boast an ancient burial ground beyond it that somehow brings back the dead.
King's novel is so disturbingly grim that he had condidered not publishing it many times. I've personally read the title and thus had high expectations for this film. The film is supposed to be a dread-filled pyschological rollercoaster, but this is just one of those times that the source material never seems to catch fire on screen no matter how hard you try. This, to me, seems to be no fault of the writers but of the material's inadaptibility, but the director could've at least tried to set up a haunting, sinister atmosphere that the audience couldn't escape. When you're watching a horror you want to feel trapped and completely breathless.
But again, history has proven that not many of King's works translate well on the silver screen, and this just happens to be one of those cursed instances.
The film simply lacks the enchanting haunted experience we all seek from this forsaken genre. The technical aspects don't help either. The film is shot carelessly, and edited the same as well. I understand why they'd want distant, dim lighting, but it doesn't help if the lighting people don't know how to... light... dim lighting. The entire film feels like an aimless boobytrap* relying on fandom, nolstagia and the love of good ole horror. There is no logic to plot-points that lead to a lot of jumpscare tactics that hardly have anyone batting an eye.
In the age of saturation, we could've done without another generic depiction of an age old tale. If you're bringing people, dead children for that matter, and creepy pets back from the dead, make it so we deeply believe that folklores exist and we could possibly face the same fate, even if it's for the two hours we're sitting in that cinema chair. Pet Sematary lacked the flair of the new coming of social thrillers that the Jordan Peeles and Ari Esters are leading. There just simply isn't any place for this kind of complacent, shallow storytelling right now—especially in the age of horror resurgence.
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