Childhood Memories: Pet Sematary
Sometimes it is not a good idea to re-watch films you loved as a kid. Pet Sematary is one of those films (Legend is as well – if you haven’t seen it, watch it, if only for Tom Cruise with crooked teeth!)
I saw it with my friend in the good old days of early teenage-dom, during a period of time I think most teenagers go through, where we watched almost nothing but horror films.
Pet Sematary is about a family that moves from Chicago to somewhere because the dad got a new job. The house they buy is next to a road that looks to be pretty safe but turns out it is anything but. Large trucks speed past their house at every hour, and has claimed many a life. And there’s pet cemetery there, because of the trucks, and there’s also an old Indian burial ground. And people and pets alike die. There’s also a weird old man living across them, who is awfully secretive and intense.
I didn’t remember a lot from the film and one thing my memory omitted was how horrible all the actors are. Everyone overacts by a mile. And there are so many things wrong with the film – like how Gage gets killed. Who in their right mind goes out playing with your young baby next to a busy, dangerous road and just turn their back on it and let it roam on its own?
I haven’t read the book. I have a serious problem with reading Stephen King books – it takes me years, honestly, to finish his books. It’s not that they’re bad, they’re just so scary that I want to hide the book in the freezer.
But I’ve been told it is 100 times scarier than the film. As a teenager I found that hard to believe. As a grown up, sassy, too-old-to-still-be-a-student woman, I say that if it isn’t 100 times more scary than the film, then the book is rubbish. I hope some of the things are explained better in the book than they are in the film. Like the old Indian burial ground. And why is it called Pet Sematary when it is mostly about the burial ground?
When I watched it first time around, I and my friend were holed up in her room, with her tiny 14” tv, while her older brother was holding a party on the other side of her door. At some point in the film, we got so scared that we were forced to pause it and brave the party, filled with 19 year old guys who were way too cool for us.
And I was looking forward to reliving that fright but the only thing I got was annoyance over bad acting and almost worse scripting. However, the cutting of the achilles tendon and the weird zombie kid are still quite scary. Although it gets a bit ruined by the fact that the toddler is suddenly very eloquent and sarcastic.
I also feel for the poor sod who gets killed in a car crash at the school Doc is working at. Through the whole film he tries to stop them from going to the ancient burial ground but it’s like they don’t see or hear him at all. It’s like he’s a ghost.
In conclusion, I wish I had simply kept that film in my childhood memories instead of re-watching it and ruin that memory.
What are your memories of Pet Sematary? Tell us in the comments.