Pet Sematary (1989) Movie Review

The other day, scrolling through the channels, my eye caught on Pet Sematary. I’ve been looking forward to the new film set to release in April, and had never seen the original and so decided to watch it. I have never read a Stephen King novel, though I have enjoyed several movies based on his works but I wouldn’t really say I’m a fan, and most of the time the films are entirely hit or miss.

This was a big miss. This movie is just not very good. The acting is terrible, especially from the lead, Dale Midkiff who taps out at a monotone early in the film. The pacing of the film is off as well with the opening of the film moving very slowly but with no tension building. Then there’s the plot, which feels clunky. The characters are really quick to believe things that are rather fantastical and are even quicker to take action based on those beliefs. There are also a lot of things in the film that just don’t age well. Some of the camera angles and editing choices, along with the music feel very dated. Though, the Ramones theme song provides some much needed humor as the credits roll at the end of the film.


The two good things from this film are the special effects makeup, which looks pretty gruesome, and the ghost/zombie Victor Pascow played very tongue-in-cheek by Brad Greenquist. His performance lightens the mood and his delivery of some pretty fun dialogue from a rather disturbing appearance is a nice combination of corny and creepy.

Horror Movie Round Up Week One: October 1st-7th


Vacancy (2007)

A couple gets stranded in the middle of nowhere and have to spend the evening in a cheap hotel where they are the only guests. Things take a turn for the weird pretty soon thereafter.

This was pretty good but not great. I thought the suspense was there, and the idea is really creepy but I didn’t quite buy into the two leads (Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale). I also thought the opening was too long. However, once the action starts things pick up, and the scares are pretty good.

Rating: 3 out 5 stars.



The Amityville Horror (2005)

A remake of the 1979 film of the same name in which a family moves into a new home and begin experiencing strange occurrences.

First things first, this is obviously not as good as the original. I was only really creeped out in one scene, and while I liked Ryan Reynolds, his character’s descent into madness felt too extreme and too quick. In the original the madness comes on slowly and manifests itself in everyday irritants. Overall it was fine but unnecessary and didn’t do anything to change or improve upon the original.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars.



Bubba Ho-Tep (2002)

The spirit of a cursed mummy terrorizes an old folks home. Oh, and our two heroes believe that they are actually Elvis and JFK.

I love Bruce Campbell in cheap B horror films. This is a hilarious setup and a good, fun film. It does get a little creepy but mostly you watch it for Bruce Campbell, and boy does he deliver.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.



Cujo (1983)

A rabid dog wreaks havoc on a small town neighborhood.

I have never read any Stephen King novels but I have seen several of his films and I always end up liking them. This one was just okay for me. There was a lot of build up to the final showdown with the dog, and while I know some of it was necessary, it felt a bit drawn out. That said, I did enjoy the tension of the scenes with the mom and child in the car. That was well done, and very tense.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.



Creepshow (1982)

An anthology of five short stories of horror and terror.

Another Stephen King film, and this time a bit more enjoyable for myself. As with most anthologies not everything was a hit but I at least had fun with each story. I thought they all set up their eventual punchlines nicely, and was satisfied with each end result. “They’re Creeping Up on You!” was the one that creeped me out the most, and I especially liked “Something to Tide You Over” and “The Crate.”

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.



Bone Tomahawk (2015)

A western in which a small band of men goes on a rescue mission to save three hostages from cannibals.

Calling this a horror film is a bit of a stretch. It has some horrific elements, and it does build tension throughout but I don’t know if it is conventionally a “horror.” However, it was still pretty good. I’m a sucker for Kurt Russell, even more so when he is in a western. I’m also a big fan of Patrick Wilson, and Richard Jenkins, who was outstanding in this film. Matthew Fox was also excellent as the douchebag cowboy. Outside of some slight pacing issues, this was a very good film watching experience.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.



The Wolf Man (1941)

A man returns home after a long absence, and is bitten by a werewolf, consequently becoming infected with the same condition.

I liked this. It’s one of the classic Universal monster films, and it rightly deserves that title. It isn’t really scary but it is a well told story. It introduces the idea, quickly brings on the action, and explores an interesting thought process about mental stability. And at only an hour and ten minutes it does all of this quite succinctly.

Rating: 4 out of 5


Next week’s preview:
Nosferatu (1922), A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014), Deliverance (1972), and more.