But has this 1989 adaptation of the classic Stephen King Novel Pet Sematary aged well? or is this yet another victim of the era. Lets take a look at Pet Sematary.
In 1983 King released his darkest tale of his career, a book his wife even admitted was to dark and un-enjoyable. King said himself this was the novel that scared him the most and I can see why storywise why this is the case. This is a story of loss and death that sees one man's need to bring his loved ones back from the dead that he will do anything to make it so, something that is played out very well in this film.
A brief breakdown of the plot: Chicago doctor Louis Creed (Played by Dale Midkiff - Time Trax, The Crow: Salvation) moves out to Maine to become the doctor at the local university hospital along with his wife Rachel (Denise Crosby - Ray Donovan, Deep Impact), his extremely irritating daughter Ellie (Blaxe Berdahl - DC Super Friends, Ghost Writer) and their little boy Gage (Miko Hughes - Kindergarden Cop, Wes Craven's New Nightmare) in to a sweet little house that is unluckily next to a very busy road regularly occupied by trucks. This we find out pretty damn quickly as Gage almost becomes road kill in the first few minutes of the film. Gage is saved by their neighbor Jud (Played by legendary Munsters star Fred Gwynne), a kindly old timer who lives on his own across the road, he is also the stupid fool who introduces the Creed family to the titular Pet Sematary and who shows Louis how to use its back from the dead powers. What follows is Louis' obsession and grief that leads to him being used by the ancient power that is trying to make him bring his loved ones back from the dead.
The story of Pet Sematary is indeed on of the darker of the Stephen King stories out there, less regarding gory and more because of the grief aspects. The death of Gage is heartbreaking and the funeral scene is a hard one to watch, tragic accidents unfortunately happen and the way Rachel's father treats Louis at the funeral is horrendous but also makes you understand why Louis does what he does more. You feel for Louis and lets be honest if we knew of a way to bring our child back from the dead you bloody well would, no matter what the consequences.
Cast wise Jud is really the only character who stands out acting wise to me, which is a credit to Gwynne however the rest of the cast are unfortunately very dire. The character of Ellie was insufferable, the type of little shite who need a solid kick in the face (not saying you should but it is bloody tempting in this film) and when it comes to Midkiff and Crosby's performances as Louis and Rachel they both seem flat and disinterested at most moments. Out of the two at least Midkiff picks up nearer the films end. The effects on the film have not aged well either, the final scenes are a very grand example of this. When you get to the moments when Gage is going after Jud and his mother you are treated to some laughable close up fake hands and the boy is obviously a dummy in the Louis and Gage final scenes, so bad it would make Chucky blush. It looks like they dressed up a shit Good Guy doll and thinking back at how well other films around the same time did this it takes you out of the final moment which is a shame.
But as a whole this can be forgiven, as the direction and overall production is done perfectly, with that 80's Stephen King vibe you got from film like Christine (The best King adaptation of all time in my opinion) and the epic IT television movie .
This film truly is more Classic than watchable so The Vault classes this as a CLASSIC