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"Pet Sematary" Mary Lambert

by Katherine Fernandez - Copy Editor
Tue, Apr 23rd 2019 11:00 pm

“Pet Sematary” is a film adaptation of the novel by the horror icon Stephen King. Although most usually turn their noses up when remakes of old movies are announced, anything having to do with King’s work sparks nothing but enthusiasm from me. I am an avid reader of his novels.

Ellie Creed (Jeté Laurence) child of Louis Creed (Jason Clarke) and Rachel Creed (Amy Seimetz), wanders too far into the backyard and discovers that the neighboring forest is home to a pet cemetary where local children bury their pets, hence why the sign is spelled incorrectly as “Pet Sematary.” These pets often met their demise at the hands of a passing truck on the highway. Here is where she meets Jud Crandall (John Lithgow,) the friendly neighbor who is also somewhat creepy. Lithgow, a Rochester native, performs exceptionally throughout the film and is arguably the most important character.

After Ellie’s beloved cat Church is killed by a truck, Jud takes Louis deep into the forest to bury the cat. He takes him past the pet cemetery and up the wooden barrier, traversing a cliff with steep stairs that led to another burial site. In this forest resides a Wendigo, a mythical creature known to roam the forest in the great lakes region and the northern coast of North America. By burying Church in the Wendigo’s forest, Louis unknowingly reanimates the cat. Church begins to show extreme aggression, behaving as though he were feral and rabid. 

Later on, Church returns from the woods that Louis banished him to. Ellie, inclined to retrieve her childhood pet after she thought he had run away, wanders into the middle of the road. Their youngest son Gage Creed (Hugo and Lucas Lavoie) follows behind her, slowly approaching the highway as an incoming truck barrels toward them. By the time Louis realizes that his son is in danger, he has barely enough time to save him. It is then that Louis notices Rachel run to the front of the truck where Ellie had been struck and killed. Louis takes drastic measures and drugs Jud so he can dig up Ellie’s body and take her to the cursed forest uninterrupted.

Ellie comes back the next morning, clearly the opposite of the vibrant girl she was when she was alive. Rachel coped with Ellie’s death by leaving but returns to the house after being unable to communicate with Louis and is horrified to discover her zombie daughter. She realizes right away this isn’t the same Ellie she was mourning. Ellie doesn’t take kindly to her mother’s rejection and begins to act out, slowly becoming more violent until she brutally murders Jud and her mother. 

Louis and Ellie confront each other in the woods and before he can get the better of her, a reanimated Rachel kills him. Ellie had taken her to the woods after knocking Louis out and the two of them proceeded to do the same to him. The family emerges from the forest together, carrying a canister of gasoline. Louis signals to Gage to unlock the door, and the sound of the doors unlocking are the last thing you’ll hear before the film fades to black and the credits roll.