Best Stephen King Adaptions: “Pet Sematary” (1989) Review

Probably my favorite Stephen King Adaption, not on the account of it being the most faithful [as it's not; leaves some crucial details out, most notably the Wendigo] but only cause I get what I want out of movies a lot here.

The directing was the best part, the movie just looked so awesome, it had a lot of neat imagery that wasn’t too style heavy, just supported the story so nicely. The whole situation and concept are also quite universal, sad, and disturbing. I remember when I was three years old finding my first pet[a dwarf bunny] dead on the ground, frozen, much like the cat in here, I saw this movie at a young age and loved it for that fact alone. A lot of horror flicks are about people being killed and mutilated, but this movie is about the idea of *Finding* out about death, and accepting [or refusing] it. Having been grief struck a few times in my life is another reason I love this movie, cause it deals with being in pain, refusing reality, trying to make things the way they use to be when they were happy but making things much worse, something many people go through, a sad reality, one of the reasons I love Requiem for a Dream so much.

The gore and deaths in here are also really good, in favor of the movie to the max. It’s really MEAN spirited, and QUITE sick. So many scenes in here make me queasy, when I was a kid no other movie was quite effective in really showing death as icky and disturbing as can be. I don’t know what it was that they did, but it was the most visceral gore I’ve ever seen. Love the Achilles tendon and slashed mouth part, or the half eaten face leaking pus, and let’s not forget Zelda.

Originally was suppose to be directed by George A.Romero, but because of creative differences with the producer, he backed out. Mary Lambert was the next choice, having already dealing with a similar theme, of accepting death, in Siesta(1987). She has never made a movie quite as good as this one, but it has really stood out for me, I loved the shots and cinematography [the state of Maine is a character, love all the details in this movie] and sense of pace. Quirky approach that was very refreshing. She could have had a better grasp on some of the acting at times though, just a minor complaint. I loved the use of the big Mac trucks always droning by, very cool. Gage Creed and Church were effective and cool villains, quite the vicious team. So many scenes in here are imprinted on my mind. The movie is a visual work of art, I appreciate it for just how it looks!

Good soothing soundtrack, Elliot Goldenthal creates a work of art, and a stellar performance by Fred Gynne who was the PERFECT choice for Jud Crandall. A tour de force story by Stephen King, I honestly think that this is his most personal and horrifying novel ever written I’ve read it countless times and have seen this movie countless times.

Bring on the remake! Curiosity killed the cat!

–Vince Fontaine

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