Pet Sematary – is it worth the remake?

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It’s been 30 years since Pet Sematary – based on Stephen King’s 1986 novel of the same name – terrified audiences and made everybody rethink owning a cat.

So, in harsh contrast to reboots of films that only hit cinemas in the last 15 years, plenty of time has passed to make the remake a worthy successor.

Pet Sematary has been given a 2019 update, and while you may not find it as scary as the original, it’s most definitely entertaining.

The new take on King’s work sees Jason Clarke and Amy Seimetz play Louis and Rachel Creed, a couple who move from Boston to Ludlow, Maine with their two children Ellie and Gage to ‘slow down’.

It’s definitely a worthy remake (Picture: Paramount Pictures)

However, they’re a tad freaked, understandably, to find a very creepy pet cemetery on their land, where children wearing very, very creepy animal masks to bury their feline and canine pals.

In addition to the bogstandard graveyard, though, there’s a supernatural cemetery, which is introduced to Louis by neighbour Jud (played by John Lithgow) after the family cat Church is killed. When they bury Church in the ~special~ cemetery, he comes back – but he isn’t the cuddly, placid kitty he was before. Nope, he’s more Kujo levels of hell.

So when Louis’ daughter Ellie is tragically killed in a road accident, driven mad by his grief, Louis decides to bury her in the same plot. Spoiler – as the tagline suggests, she does not come back the same.

The scariest character, right there (Picture: Paramount Pictures)

The plot is pretty much the same as the original, but there’s one big twist, as confirmed by the trailer – instead of Gage being killed, Ellie is the child who dies and returns from the dead a tad nastier than she was before. You wouldn’t think this would make such a difference, but it provides a whole new narrative to the film. With the nine-year-old able to talk, ask questions and bond with her parents, her death and resurrection becomes more intense – plus actress Jeté Laurence can get even creepier.

There’s also other slight tweaks which I won’t tell you about – but trust that this isn’t a useless carbon copy of the original.

However, maybe the plot remaining true to the original, as it should, slightly waters down the scares. While Pet Sematary is no doubt creepy AF, there’s no major scares – and the main one is totally ruined in the trailer.

Anyone who has seen the original knows about the skin crawling Achille’s heel moment – and thanks to the trailer, we know how it happens to Jud this time around. The remake cleverly plays on what you know about the first film to try and trick you into a false sense of security – but all that work is dashed as the scene is included in the trailer, which is a real shame.

If you’re looking for a horror that will leave you terrified and unable to sleep, this is not the one. But if you want a jumpy and campy night at the movies, buy a ticket pronto.

And maybe lock your cat in the toilet when you get home.

Pet Sematary is in cinemas on 4 April.

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