North Atlanta Students Comment Stephen King’s “Pet Sematary” Being To Die For


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Buried in Praise: North Atlanta students share their opinions on the most recent movie that came out in theaters: Stephen King’s “Pet Sematary.”

The second adaptation of Stephen King’s best-selling classic “Pet Sematary” debuted in theaters April 5. The original film was released in 1989 and was considered faithful to King’s narrative.

However, the latest movie introduced some new, major plot points. Traditionally, in King’s narrative, protagonist Louis Creed’s young son Gage is hit by a truck and dies, unlike in the new version, where his daughter, Ellie, is killed.

Having Ellie die and brought back to life changes the course of the movie and its themes. Ellie is self aware about her zombie-esque state and can vocalize her thoughts on her newfound situation, unlike Gage in the original plot. Ellie’s ability to vocalize that she knows she’s dead, and that her parents treat her differently, add a new layer of tragedy to the story that did not exist with Gage.

“Pet Sematary” is a fable for how we, as humans, respond to death. It is also about how scientists, namely doctors, like to play God and almost always get burned for it. The fear and hatred of death and doctors’ belief in the superiority of their medicines and science over nature is personified in Louis Creed, the devastated parent and university doctor.

Louis Creed brought back his daughter, but at what cost?

Ellie’s inability to be brought back to normalcy represents the fact that nature and our own inevitable morality will always dominate science and human want.

Although the film brought out an important message that was easy to identify, directors Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer ensured that it would remain entertaining the entire time. The scares were not as severe as a typical plot-less horror movie, but there were more of them, some being wildly over-the-top, turning the tragic tale into something almost resembling satire.

For die-hard Stephen King fans, this new iteration of “Pet Sematary” brings a fresh perspective that strays slightly from the novel, but brings food for thought with it. However, the movie as a whole does not do the novel’s terror justice. If Stephen King’s novel didn’t terrify you, neither will this movie.

For those who have never read “Pet Sematary” but enjoy horror, this film is a moderately entertaining introduction to the world of Stephen King.

At the same time, one could always simply watch the 1989 version, which captures the terror much more fully.