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Filmmakers have been adapting Stephen King’s work for years, but ever since IT dominated the box office in 2017, the pressure to duplicate that astronomical success has been a mighty hot topic with a whole slew of adaptations going into development. Fear of a rinse, wash, repeat approach or sheer desperation to hit it big again, possibly at the expense of quality, has been a major concern for this big Stephen King fan, but I am beyond thrilled to tell you that the first wide theatrical release since IT, Dennis Widmyer and Kevin Kölsch’s Pet Sematary, isn’t merely a solid entry to the long list of films based on King’s work; it joins the ones sitting at the top as one of the very best.
The movie centers on the Creed family. In hopes of spending more time with his children, Dr. Louis Creed (Jason Clarke) and his wife Rachel (Amy Seimetz) opt to leave big city living behind and move into a rural Maine home with their two kids Ellie (Jeté Laurence) and Gage (Hugo and Lucas Lavoie). Little do they know, the property extends well beyond their expectations. The land includes a cemetery for local pets that’s been used for generations and also something else – something with the ability to bring things back.
Jeff - Buhler - Screenplay - Excels - Levels
Jeff Buhler’s screenplay excels on so many levels. The Stephen King source material digs deep into grief, the scars trauma and loss leave, and the impossible questions surrounding our own mortality, and Buhler, Widmyer and Kölsch embrace it all. Pet Sematary is highly engaging and entertaining, but it isn’t a rollicking ride that dishes out jump scares followed by a quick breather courtesy of comedic relief. It’s a layered, deeply sinister family nightmare that, yes, is packed with scares, but also a significant amount of complexity...
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