Dr. Louis Creed (Jason Clarke) and his wife Rachel (Amy Seimetz) relocate from Boston to rural Maine in order to spend more time with their children Ellie (Jete Laurence) and Gage (Hugo Lavoie). When Ellie’s pet cat is killed their neighbour Jud (John Lithgow) leads Louis out to the Pet Sematary in the woods and instructs him to bury it. But when it comes back it’s not quite the same.
Based on Stephen King’s 1983 novel this film adaptation makes a few significant changes to the plot of the novel and the much more faithful 1989 film which was written by King. This of course gives fans something to ponder as to whether these amendments are good or bad.
The film is well staged and has a methodical pace. Initially this works. The discovery of the creepy Sematary (spelt incorrectly on the sign made by children) in the woods and the children wearing masks is suitably eerie. But somewhere along the way it manages to lose its tension and the plot begins to drag. For me there is one particular moment of exposition that pulled me out of the whole film, but I can not explain here without spoiling anything.
Performances are good and the woods are perfectly ominous. Although occasionally the difference between set and real life is painfully obvious.
Perfectly decent, but doesn’t live up to its first trailer (the one that didn’t give the entire plot away).