#MovieMonday: Pet Sematary Review: A Venomously Disturbing Horror Film Despite The Lame Title

Image: indiewire.com

Just two weeks ago, I had the fortune of entertaining myself with Jordan Peele’s critically-acclaimed horror flick Us, mere hours after touching down in Singapore.

Image: The Post Athens

It didn’t take me long to recognise why the film’s so critically acclaimed either; right off the bat, the film treated us to an introduction that’s inherently unnerving, and the centreground served as a convoluted, blood-filled mess that kept us constantly on our toes. Literally. 

And just when we thought all was over, the ending came by and messed everyone up again, only this time for the hours that followed.

Image: Slate.com

Truly, it’s a masterpiece and one that truly thrilled and horrified me to the point where I thought:

“Well, I guess that’s the scariest movie I’m gonna watch for a while.”

But is it, really?

Enter Pet Sematary.

Image: iMDb

Based on the classic best-selling novel by Stephen King, Pet Sematary revolves around a burial ground that seems to bring dead corpses back to life…

With seemingly fatal consequences.

Official synopsis:

“Dr Louis Creed and his wife, Rachel, relocate from Boston to rural Maine with their two young children. The couple soon discovers a mysterious burial ground hidden deep in the woods near their new home. When tragedy strikes, Louis turns to his neighbour Jud Crandall, setting off a perilous chain reaction that unleashes an unspeakable evil with horrific consequences.”

Here’s the official trailer:

Do you have a friend who’s always smiling? Watch this video and you’ll know why he or she is always so happy:

And for the review junkies, here’re your deets.

Image: Google

Not the best review scores, but then again a horror film’s worth is hardly 100% dependent on its popularity with critics.

Enter my personal review

For the horror genre, I’m gonna tweak my judging categories a lil’ bit because really, any good horror film should excel in these three aspects:

  • Atmosphere
  • Jumpscares
  • Scare o’ Meter

As always, do take note that this is my personal take on the movie, so if you disagree with my sentiments please do not pepper my doorstep with rotten eggs.

Image: Tenor

Also, it has to be mentioned that at the time of the screening, I was sitting right smack in the middle, three rows away from the screen. Best seats in my opinion, and also the most vulnerable to any potential scares.

Just pointing that out.

Atmosphere

As any horror buff would surely attest to, a tense atmosphere’s key to a solid, good horror movie. And as far as  is concerned, I feel that it has the atmosphere down. Pat.

Image: Variety

As you might’ve surmised from the summary, the movie’s primary domain happens to be that of a burial ground called the Pet Sematary. Now I’ve no idea why it’s called as such, but everything about it screams ‘danger’. The fog, in particular, really served to dish up the visual atmosphere, and when coupled with the intense soundtrack you’re treated to an atmosphere-fest that forms the backdrop for the remainder of the movie.

Image: Thrillist

Colour me amazed, but damn; this movie is creepy af.

Atmosphere score: 4/5

Jumpscares

Once, as I vacated the movie theatre alongside everyone else, I happened to hear this dude say to his girlfriend:

“That was a shitty movie. There was like, zero jumpscares. Waste of my money.”

Which wasn’t exactly untrue, considering how horror fanatics undoubtedly look forward to the next jump scare that will make their blood run cold.

Image: GoodorBad Trailer Youtube

And so, I bet you’re wondering; how far does Pet Sematary go with the classic ol’ scares? Well, the answer’s none other than…

Satisfactory.

Image: IndieWire

Indeed, if you head to the movie fully expecting jumpscares, I highly doubt that you’ll be disappointed. While they’re hardly rampant throughout the whole movie, they proved highly effective every time they ‘leapt in front of the screen’, and in that aspect, I really don’t think you’ll have anything to bemoan about.

Though I would just like to highlight that oftentimes, you might actually want to punch the cameraman in the face. Not because he did a bad job.

But because he did his job too well.

Jumpscare score: 4/5

Scare o’ Meter

Let’s face it; a horror movie might possess all the necessary ingredients, but if it’s not scaring anyone it’s not a good horror movie.

Which would lead to the Goody Feed-exclusive Scare o’ Meter; just how well did it scare the audience, or to be more specific yours truly?

Image: MovieWeb

Before I conclude, however, I would just like to reiterate that at the time of the screening, I was arguably in the best seats possible, the ideal scenario to get my pants scared off me. Yet, even so, I would say that even if I was sitting elsewhere…

I’ll probably get a fright of my life as well.

Image: Entertainment Weekly

With sumptuous dabs of horror, extravagant doses of unnerving moments and pictures that make your brain freeze, Pet Sematary might not be the best-reviewed horror movie of the last decade…

But it could damn well be the most unnerving one.

Scare o’ meter: 4.5/5

Overall score: 4.167/5