Pet Sematary (1989) – or – Now I wanna play with you.

Shocked. That’s what I was today when I went to start my review on Pet Sematary and saw that it only had a 50% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with only a 64% positive from viewers.

What the fuck?

Did we all watch the same movie because the Pet Sematary that I saw was fucking badass. Hell, it had Herman Munster in it! How can you hate a movie that has Fred Gwynne in it? He’s working that strange sounding accent as Jud Crandall and talking about “Sometimes dead is better.” I can still hear it ringing in my ears now. There’s some great gore, it’s built on the shocking idea of a very young child being killed, and it contains some of the most creepy moments I can think of in a movie.

This flick has so many moments that have stuck in my brain. What about the visual of Victor (Brad Greenquist) with that floppy, wet, piece of skin hanging off the side of his head? I’ve never forgotten that. Compared to other horror flicks at the time, that was pretty gruesome, at least it was for us. We were used to the ridiculous horror of Freddy or Jason but this was on a much more serious level. Of course there’s the cat, Church. He’s not really that creepy but he is a little prick. It’s hard to think of Pet Sematary and not think of that damn cat, staring at you with those creepy ass eyes and hissing. That cat gets what he deserves!

Kids are always creepy, but this isn't the character that freaks me out the most in Pet Sematary.

In terms of creepy, it’s hard to beat Miko Hughes as Gage Creed. The fact that they kill off a 3 year old in a movie is bad enough, but to have him come back as some sort of crazed killer is another. The kid could barely talk and he’s hacking up heels and giving Jud a new smile. I’ll always wonder how he hung his mom up in the attic though. I guess when you’re some sort of strange undead, things like that aren’t too hard. Even though Gage is a pretty freaking character, especially when he’s calling his dad to come and play with him, he’s not the character that freaks me out the most in this one. That special honor is given to Zelda (Andrew Hubatsek).

I'm sorry, but if this doesn't creep you out, you can't come to my birthday party.

Damn, just look at that! I can vividly recall her in my head. There had been quite a few years between viewings of Pet Sematary and I could still remember Zelda. The way her back looks and how she yells for Rachel (Denise Crosby). It makes my skin crawl. This flick is just creepy, from top to bottom.

The story is great, the acting is almost all perfect, sometimes Ellie (Blaze and Beau Berdahl) would get on my nerves, it’s got a great atmosphere and still manages to be creepy after all these years. Now, as much as I enjoyed Pet Sematary, it’s unfortunate that I have to follow this one up with a review of Pet Sematary 2. I guess you can’t win them all. I guess Pet Sematary 2 is kind of like Zelda. It’s hideous and frightening and you just want it to be dead so you can forget it existed, but it won’t, it will haunt you for the rest of your life with all it’s horribleness!

In the shadows – Will

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