Stephen King is a master of the macabre, but his stories don’t always translate well to the screen, usually because great scenes are either ruined or left out entirely. In the case of Pet Sematary (iTunes), the film is fantastic. The effects hold up very well by today’s standards, and the final 45 minutes of the movie are creepy as all hell.
There aren’t a lot of scary moments at the start of the movie, aside from a few jumps, but the end of the movie more than makes up for it. The idea of a 2-year-old demon child attacking his parents and family friend is creepy on its own, but the visceral nature in which he goes after them with a scalpel is gut-wrenching. Of course, as a parent, this movie hits harder than others, especially as I think about what the finale means for the daughter, who is away with her grandparents.
Also, I absolutely love to hate the 80s tradition of writing terrible songs to play during the end credits of horror films that use the title of the movie to try and be somehow relevant. This movie is no exception. I don’t care if it is by The Ramones, it’s still ridiculous and cheesy. Does that mean that I wouldn’t buy an entire collection of these songs and rock out to them all? Of course not. I’m still bound by my desire for all things schlock.
So far, this is probably my favorite of the 80s horror films that I’ve watched this month. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good scary movie to watch this All Hallow’s Eve (or Samhain, if you prefer).