The new Pet Sematary movie recently screened for attendees of the SXSW film festival, and early reactions to it are rolling in.
Based on the classic Stephen King novel, the new film pulls more from the book rather than being a remake of the 1989 film adaptation.
Pet Sematary is directed by Dennis Widmyer and Kevin Kölsch — who are most recognizable from their work on the anthology horror film Holidays and the Scream TV series — from a screenplay by Jeff Buhler (ABCs of Death 2, The Midnight Meat Train) and David Kajganich (Suspiria 2018, Blood Creek).
Scroll down to read more about what critics from Rotten Tomatoes and around the Internet are already saying about the terrifying new movie!
'The Hollywood Reporter'
The Hollywood Reporter's John DeFore writes that Pet Sematary is "a solid if not earthshaking horror pic built around notably good performances."
"Before a second (wrenchingly depicted) family tragedy occurs, the film has done a pretty good job of spreading out the layers of old trauma that will make a new loss especially painful — and make the action to come feel like more than just an icky ghost story," he adds.
"The directors and screenwriter Jeff Buhler have tweaked the novel's plot substantially, and we should let surprises be surprises. But as any viewer will assume, a human being is going to be buried out there soon, and the result won't be pretty," DeFore also says of the film.prevnext
Slash Film critic Chris Evangelista tweeted, "[Pet Sematary] is a f—ing BLAST. Holy s—! I'm giddy right now. One of the best King adaptations to date!"
"Like the best King adaptations, PET SEMATARY isn't 100% faithful to the text, but the spirit. This movie is BLEAK (but also surprisingly funny at times). And yes, the Ramones song played over the credits and I CHEERED," he later added.prevnext
Monica Castillo, who writes for The Wrap, says Pet Sematary is a "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."
"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," she added.
"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," Castillo continued.prevnext
SXSW Film Review: ‘Pet Sematary’ https://t.co/zo5VUVUszA— Variety (@Variety) March 17, 2019
Variety film critic Peter DeBruge praised the film, writing, "What has changed with horror in the three decades since the original's unforgettable 'No fair' ending? Instead of dreading the casualties, audiences now cheer on the 'kills,' which is a troubling way to process the resurrected Creed child's disturbing agenda."
"Without the kind of small details that make these characters come to life, it's easy to feel that they exist only to be dispatched according to the directors' whims," he went on to say.
"Most of their fates are directly repeated from the earlier version, although a radical departure is made with the film's ending. Maybe you can teach a dead cat new tricks after all," DeBruge concluded his review.prevnext
Look, I just want to write about this movie for the rest of the year. If you could all do me a solid and see it April 5 so I can dig into it more, I would greatly appreciate it. As for now, here's my spoiler free gushing.https://t.co/02LwKPnsTz— Meagan Navarro (@HauntedMeg) March 17, 2019
Bloody Disgusting writer Meagan Navarro shared her review of the film and tweeted out, "Look, I just want to write about this movie for the rest of the year. If you could all do me a solid and see it April 5 so I can dig into it more, I would greatly appreciate it. As for now, here's my spoiler free gushing."
In her official review she said, "Here's the bottom line: Pet Sematary doesn't dare bother following the footsteps of its predecessors. Kolsch and Widmyer don't bother retreading the story we know and instead give us something far more satisfying in its own right."
"Instead, they give us a story so bone-chilling, so substantial, and even with a little bit of humor to alleviate the brutal blow of abject terror. It honors every bit of King's meditation on death and grief while retaining its own identity" she added.prevnext
#PetSematary is *vicious* and I LOVED it. Super brutal visuals and was thrilled to see Widmyer & Kölsch fully embrace the deeply unsettling themes of mortality from the book. And WOW Jeté Laurence. They really pushed it with this adaptation & it worked for me - big time. ? #sxsw— Perri Nemiroff (@PNemiroff) March 17, 2019
Peri Nemiroff from Collider gushed about Pet Sematary, saying it 'is "*vicious* and I LOVED it.'
"Super brutal visuals and was thrilled to see Widmyer & Kölsch fully embrace the deeply unsettling themes of mortality from the book," she added. "And WOW Jeté Laurence. They really pushed it with this adaptation & it worked for me - big time."prevnext
'Daily Dead News'
Lots (and lots) of thoughts on the new #PetSematary to come, but for now, what I will say is this: holy hell do I respect how bananas it gets in the third act. Absolutely not what I was expecting AT ALL.— Heather Wixson (@thehorrorchick) March 17, 2019
Daily Dead News Managing Editor Heather Wixson also appeared to be a fan of the film, tweeting, "Lots (and lots) of thoughts on the new [Pet Sematary] to come, but for now, what I will say is this: holy hell do I respect how bananas it gets in the third act. Absolutely not what I was expecting AT ALL."
She later explained that she would "call it more of a new adaptation than remake."prevnext
The new Pet Sematary stars Jason Clarke, Amy Seimetz, and John Lithgow.
It is scheduled to be released in theaters on April 5.prev