Pet Sematary II

Posted: November 26, 2018 in Movies
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Don’t count Pet Sematary II out. Sure, you might not have been aware of its existence but hear me out. This 1992 sequel to the late eighties movie has enough going on to warrant a place in the marvelous realm of horror.

The first film is famously based on the novel of the same name from horror lit king Stephen King. You burry your own. That is the motto of the world King created. The novel shines a light on how individuals handle death when it strikes closest to home. The Native American burial site of the book and the films offers those who seek it out the chance to burry their loved ones and then have them return. Problem is that in the case of the first film, very much the case in this sequel, dead is better and less fatal.

Mary Lambert, director of the first film, is back to helm this sequel. There’s a connective tissue tone wise between the two films due to that. The sequel goes one step further in the case of the gore and the crazy and has a good dose of dark humour that I can see fans of the first film being annoyed about. I didn’t mind that. When it comes to the main hook though the plot of the sequel is just like what came before. People (and pets) die – more than in the first film – and they come back evil and full of murder.

Young me loved this film. I rented it a lot. Probably due to the shock of just seeing it there on the shelf in the video store and seeing that Eddie Furlong was in it! I was obsessed with T2: Judgement Day and obviously Furlong is awesome in that film. I thought he was so cool. He’s great in Judgement Day and he’s good here too. His character, Jeff Matthews, losses his mother during the opening of the sequel. The fear of loosing a parent is legit terrifying and the film explores such a massive loss from Jeff’s point of view. That is a smart move because when the shit hits the fan and the dead start to rise you can understand a pair of teenage boys making stupid choices WAY more than a guy in his mid to late thirties. Running alongside the main plot is one which follows Jeff’s buddy Drew (Jason McGuire) and his pretty bad situation at home with his nasty stepdad Gus (a great Clancy Brown). Gus is a horror.  You get some shades of Stand By Me in the form of Jeff and Drew’s friendship and their interaction with the town bullies too.

Simply put – I am just going to say it  – I think there’s a lot more going on in Pet Sematary II than in the first film. Not to say I think it’s a better movie but it most certainly warrants a place beside the original. Cool touches throughout help this case.

For example the first flick had one hell of a cliffhanger ending. You get some clarity on what went down afterwards in this film. There’s a hammer horror feel here too. The characters are well written and brought to life by a good cast while the horror factor is brought up higher. Add to all of that some harsh gore and you got yourself a strong sequel.

Once the dead start to rise the effects are more in your face and aggressive. An un-dead dog is more of a threat than a cat right? The creature effects on both the animals and the humans are great. Don’t think the film pulls its punches either just ’cause it is more outlandish. The sequel is just as unforgiving in regards to who lives and who dies as the first flick. Once the film moves into the third act you can’t tell who is still on the side of good and who has lost their mind.

If you look this film up online you’ll see it has a less favourable reputation than its predecessor. That’s a shame ’cause I think folks may skip this based on that. If you like the first film or the book I think you’d have a decent time with Pet Sematary II. On a surface horror movie level there is enough in here to suggest at least an October night watch. I may like it more than some but I think opinions on Pet Sematary II are coming around to seeing it may be better than some initial reactions to the film had folk believe. I’d recommend the sequel to any horror fan.

 

 

 

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