The second adaptation of Stephen King's Pet Sematary has been one of the horror films fans have been most looking forward to in 2019, and now that the first reviews for the movie have been published, everyone can breathe a sigh of relief. It doesn't look like the Pet Sematary remake will be the least bit disappointing. On the contrary, many critics are calling this movie one of the best King adaptations to-date, setting the bar for this remake even higher.
Pet Sematary premiered at South by Southwest to rave reactions from both fans and critics, and those delighted reactions translated directly into positive reviews. At the time of writing this article, the film from director's Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer has a stellar 88 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Much like IT back in 2017, people are going wild for this Stephen King adaptation, and the momentum will only continue to pick up steam on the way to its April 5th release date.
Are you looking forward to Pet Sematary? Check out some of the early reviews from the film below!
The Wrap's Monica Castillo writes that the Pet Sematary remake will get under your skin, whether you're familiar with the source material or not.
"I quite enjoyed the thrills of the new Pet Sematary, much like I enjoyed the scares of the old movie. Its terrifying story about death still leaves audiences with much to think about long after the credits roll, and the twists that lead to a new ending are fun to follow. Thirty years after the original movie frightened audiences, its source material has given new life to one of the best Stephen King adaptations in the past decade."
You can read The Wrap's full review here.
John DeFore of The Hollywood Reporter notes that Pet Sematary accomplishes the rare feat of being a remake that holds up to its predecessor.
"The Stephen King revival continues in Pet Sematary, Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer's take on a novel many consider to be a highlight of the prolific author's career. Already the subject of a not especially well-liked 1989 adaptation by Mary Lambert, the book's creepy premise justifies this modern second look, which proves to be a solid if not earthshaking horror pic built around notably good performances. It should benefit from the attention paid to King properties like It, though this film, happily, is more self-contained in its nasty drama."
You can read THR's full review here.
While the original Pet Sematary remains one of the more effective Stephen King adaptations out there, Variety's Peter Debruge writes that the remake still finds a way to add to the story's legacy.
"Of the 70-odd theatrical adaptations of the King’s oeuvre to date, maybe a dozen actually deliver. Amid that hit-and-miss filmography, the 1989 reanimated-animals chiller ranks among the most effective big-screen translations of the prolific author’s work. That earlier nightmare-inducing version of Pet Sematary isn’t so much remade as resurrected in co-directors Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer’s 30-years-later take, a mostly faithful cover version of that earlier film — with a few key twists, none of which will be revealed here."
You can read Variety's full review here.
Collider critic Perri Nemiroff says that the bar for King adaptations has been extremely high ever since It hit theaters last year, but Pet Sematary somehow shatters those lofty expectations to become one of the best works in the entire King pantheon.
"Filmmakers have been adapting Stephen King’s work for years, but ever since IT dominated the box office in 2017, the pressure to duplicate that astronomical success has been a mighty hot topic with a whole slew of adaptations going into development. Fear of a rinse, wash, repeat approach or sheer desperation to hit it big again, possibly at the expense of quality, has been a major concern for this big Stephen King fan, but I am beyond thrilled to tell you that the first wide theatrical release since IT, Dennis Widmyer and Kevin Kölsch’s Pet Sematary, isn’t merely a solid entry to the long list of films based on King’s work; it joins the ones sitting at the top as one of the very best."
You can read Collider's full review here.
Britt Hayes of IndieWire isn't quite as high on Pet Sematary as some of the other reviews, suggesting that, while it's better than the 1989 film, it still doesn't live up to King's source material.
“Pet Sematary was and remains one of Stephen King’s most devastating horror novels — a meditation on grief, guilt, and the distinct way the two are intrinsically linked. King almost didn’t release his novel; his wife Tabitha and his friend Peter Straub thought it was too upsetting, and so it sat on a shelf until King needed a novel to complete his contract with Doubleday. In 1983, Pet Sematary was released, and just six years later it hit the mainstream with a film directed by Mary Lambert. Almost 30 years after Lambert’s film, directors Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer (Starry Eyes) have collaborated on a new adaptation of King’s novel that succeeds in some areas where the 1989 version failed while ultimately failing to deliver an ending that resonates as deeply as its source material."
You can read IndieWire's full review here.
Despite being marketed as straight-up horror film, GameSpot's Rafael Motamayor says that Pet Sematary also succeeds as a terrifying dark comedy, in some ways improving on the book.
"In an age where every film is getting a remake or a reboot, Pet Sematary might actually be better than the original. It's terrifying, twisted, heartbreaking, morbidly funny, and a hell of a fun time."
You can read GameSpot's full review here.
BMD's Marisa Mirabal explains that Pet Sematary found a way to play with our deepest fears, surpassing our highest expectations.
"Starry Eyes director duo Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer enrich and exhume these humanistic horrors while mostly adhering to the original formula of King’s 1983 novel, Pet Sematary. In their adaptation of the same name, death and grief are ruthlessly personified and the thematic intensity of loss rises from the dead to deliver one of the best King adaptations to date."
You can read BMD's full review here.