This was one of the movies that was featured in my “So bad it’s good” list. As much as I love this movie I’m not going to sit around and pretend like it was also one of the greatest movies of all time. It is great in the way that it is very entertaining and has that classic 1980’s nostalgia value to it. It was one of the first horror movies I ever saw and of course, this leaves it a special place in my heart. This will not be a spoiler-free review.
Louis Creed is your average guy who moves to a house in Maine (because this is a Stephen King movie and everything happens in Maine) with his wife Rachel and his kids Gage and Ellie. Actually, it might be spelled Elly. I don’t think it matters because it’s a movie. Whatever. He’s a doctor and he is going to be working for the local college at the clinic. The movie starts just fine, a normal dude with a normal family. Then on one of his first days at the college a man is brought in with a massive head injury (where you can totally see his brain and he looks like a zombie already for some reason). He talks to Louis before he dies warning him of the pet sematary.
Kind of shaken up by this, Louis gets past it and moves on with his life. Over the holidays, his wife and kids leave to go to his in-laws’ house and he stays at home. That’s when Ellie’s cat is hit by a truck. Now, she’s like five years old and loves her cat so he’s worried about having to explain that to her (especially since his wife has this massive phobia about death and whatever). Enter the “helpful” neighbor Judd. He explains to Louis that not far from where he lives is an Indian burial ground with special powers. The powers being that if you bury a dead body there, it will bring that body back to life. Except the thing you buried isn’t the thing that comes back. He cautions Louis a bit about the dangers but they both decide it’s probably better to bury Ellie’s cat there. Which they do. The cat comes back but is super fucking evil to Louis (and reportedly smells bad). It’s really hard to write this without giving details from the book but I’ll try.
The family comes back and everything is fine except for the cat randomly scaring Louis. It’s a cat so no one can really tell the difference between how he used to be and how evil he is now because cats are just evil fuckers. I mean that in a “nice” way cause I own two of them but lets face it they are evil.
Time passes to summer and during a family picnic, Gage is hit by a truck. Everything goes to shit of course. The thing is, Louis knows about this burial ground. He sends Rachel and Ellie to go live with her parents for a bit and he digs up Gage’s body and takes him to the pet sematary to bury him. Judd warns him not to do this. Tells him a story about a kid named Timmy who was buried there back in the day, basically came back as a murderous zombie, and they had to kill him cause he just wasn’t Timmy any more. Louis has some idea that because Gage is a little boy this won’t matter (though I’m not sure if this is said in the movie or only the book).
He buries Gage and then goes home and passes out on his bed. Gage comes back and kills the shit out of Judd in a chilling yet also hilarious scene. While Louis is asleep Rachel comes back to the house because Ellie has been having nightmares about Louis burying Gage in the pet sematary. She notices something is up with Judd’s house and goes there first because why the fuck not? Gage stabs the shit out of her as well. Or something. You’ll see what I mean in a second.
Louis wakes up and realizes something is off. Goes kinda nutty and decides that he needs to “put down” both the cat and Gage. He gets the cat and injects him with something (if I recall right in the book it might have been a morphine overdose? but I can’t remember). He then finds the body of Judd and his wife which a two-year-old somehow hung from a noose in an attic (but I guess this is a demonically possessed two-year-old so whatever) and kills him as well. Same way as the cat. Then he grabs Rachel’s body, removes it, and sets the house on fire. He buries her in the semetary. I sense a pattern here right? He thinks that since she JUST DIED like as in maybe an hour ago, she’ll come back normal. Which she totally doesn’t and the movie ends at that scene.
I like this movie even if it’s kinda bad and the acting is cheesy in parts. I also really like Fred Gwynne who played Herman Munster in The Munsters. He’s great at his part in the movie. I also like that they used an actual 2 year old. The actor (once grown) stated he was so young he doesn’t remember filming the movie. Despite that he’s utterly terrifying. Though there are campy effects, music, and the usual 5 second cameo from Stephen King, it has it’s charm and is definitely worth at least one watch. It’s even better with a group of friends so you can make fun of it.
Also don’t even ask me about the “Zelda” part which is why most people find this movie fucking creepy as hell cause I don’t want to talk about that shit either.