This is an advance review out of the SXSW film festival. Pet Sematary opens April 4 in the UK and AU and April 5 in the US.
This new version of Pet Sematary — an adaptation of Stephen King’s seminal novel of the same name, which was previously made into a film in 1989 — is an example where sometimes remakes are better. Whatever one’s feelings are on the original film, though, this new Pet Sematary stands alone as a gripping piece of horror entertainment marked by strong performances, an ever-escalating sense of doom, and, as the movie crosses firmly into the ghoulish, a delightfully dark wit.
Skillfully directed by Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer, who previously directed 2014’s Starry Eyes, Pet Sematary quickly establishes a pervasive sense of dread that extends from the otherworldly woods of the titular burial ground to what should be the safety and sanctity of a family home. And for the film’s central Creed family — doctor-dad Louis, mom Rachel, and kids Ellie and Gage, who recently relocated from Boston to the small town of Ludlow, Maine — their new home and its unfathomably evil surroundings will impress upon them that death will find anyone, anywhere, anytime.