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Review Pet Sematary (2019): A huge letdown!

genre: horror

Disclaimer: This might contain mild spoilers. I rarely do this. In this case it won't diminish the fun since it already is bad.

Pet Sematary was one of the few films I was looking forward to since I honestly believed they wouldn't be able to screw up the compelling premise. Guess what? I gave them too much credit. 

First of all it takes far too long for this film to get going. Which wasn't a problem for me until after a half hour or so the big tragedy hadn't occurred yet. If this time had been used to create bone chilling tension and suspense then perhaps I would not have any problem with this. Except nothing is done to heighten the atmosphere or creepiness other than a ridiculous side plot too reminiscent of The Grudge to distract you. Somehow this should tie in with the main plot. And yes for a moment I was thinking and pondering how Rachel probably had an early experience with the nasty consequences of using the burial ground. Only not once does the film attempt to actually make this connection and then it hit me. There is no connection. It's just one huge misdirection supposedly to bring you more horror goodness. It truly would have been creepy had the boy and the Japanese lady from The Grudge made an appearance instead of the cat and the sister. I swear they act in the same way as they did. Only without the dread or terror. At this point I realized that directors Kevin K├Âlsch and Dennis Widmyer were out of their dept.

The real drama still had to happen and when it does it's impact is almost laughable. I mean I appreciate the twist (provided you are familiar with the original film) but sorry to say I hardly felt an emotional connection to the characters since very little time was spent on the relationships between them or what they are about. Of course the event leads to an act everybody can predict but very little is shown or made clear on how devastated the parents are. It would have helped to make their case. If I am not mistaken this did happen in the 1989 adaptation. Point is that Louis already knows that burying a dead creature in the cemetery is a bad idea. Then what made him think this time would be different? The film fails to convince you of his desperation. One could argue that the voices drove him to it. Had these voices actually motivated him to do so then yes that would have made this film incredibly compelling. Because that could have added a psychological dimension to the events. Unfortunately the film doesn't even bother to add this extra layer.

You know what? Had this film been completely about Church the cat and his antics after his death I would have loved Pet Sematary. The contrast of Church as sweet cat and then evil one certainly is one of the most interesting things in the film. And the cat definitely is a better actor than the kids. (But the boy is adorable!)  

Overall the film is a huge letdown since it fails to buildup atmosphere and deliver horror goodness. There isn't a single scary scene in it. So avoid!

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