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Pet Sematary (1989)

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After tragedy strikes, a grieving father discovers an ancient burial ground behind his home with the power to raise the dead.

Director:

Mary Lambert

Writers:

Stephen King (novel), Stephen King (screenplay)
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Popularity
1,961 ( 434)
1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dale Midkiff ... Louis Creed
Fred Gwynne ... Jud Crandall
Denise Crosby ... Rachel Creed
Brad Greenquist ... Victor Pascow
Michael Lombard ... Irwin Goldman
Miko Hughes ... Gage Creed
Blaze Berdahl ... Ellie Creed
Susan Blommaert ... Missy Dandridge
Mara Clark Mara Clark ... Marcy Charlton
Kavi Raz ... Steve Masterton
Mary Louise Wilson ... Dory Goldman
Andrew Hubatsek ... Zelda
Liz Davies ... Girl at Infirmary
Kara Dalke Kara Dalke ... Candystriper
Matthew August Ferrell Matthew August Ferrell ... Jud as a Child
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Storyline

With dreams of a better life, the young doctor, Louis Creed, and his family--his wife, Rachel, their daughter, Ellie, and their three-year-old toddler, Gage--move to their new home in the small rural town of Ludlow, Maine, alarmingly close to a busy highway. However, when Rachel's cherished tomcat is inadvertently killed in an awful accident, a desperate Louis will reluctantly take his friendly neighbour's advice to bury it in an ancient Micmac graveyard--a mystical burial ground imbued with reanimating powers. Despite the terrible results and the insistent warnings from a recently deceased, tragedy-stricken Louis is forced to go back to the Indian cemetery, hoping that, this time, things will be different. But, can the dead return from the grave? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Sometimes dead is better. See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 April 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Pet Cemetery See more »

Filming Locations:

Bucksport, Maine, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$11,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,046,179, 23 April 1989

Gross USA:

$57,469,467

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$57,469,467
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The tree that Ellie Creed swings on after first arriving at their new home made such an impression on Mary Lambert and Stephen King that they dug it up from a field where they spotted it and re-planted it in front of the house. They had searched all summer for the perfect house with a tree and never found it, so they compromised. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 25 mins) When Louis falls out of bed, he hits his head on a nightstand, dragging a pillow off the bed when he falls. The pillow is shown very clearly on the floor between the bed and the nightstand. A few shots later the pillow is back on the bed again. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Broken Hearted Child 1: [the voices of broken hearted children burying their pets at the Pet Sematary, voice-over] Bye, old Shep. See you in heaven. Yeah?
Broken Hearted Child 2: [voice over] This is where my kitty lays. No more he screams and hollers.
Broken Hearted Child 3: [voice-over] He lived for 5 and 20 days. He cost me $50.
Young Jud: [voice-over] Spot - A good fella. We love you.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Television censors of some of the films gorier moments included alternate shots from different angles that hide the more graphic images. This especially came into play with the Timmy Baterman scenes and the films finale in the Creed's kitchen. See more »

Connections

References The Munsters (1964) See more »

Soundtracks

Pet Sematary
By Dee Dee Ramone & Daniel Rey
Performed by Ramones
Produced by Jean Beauvoir & Daniel Rey
Courtesy of Sire Records Company
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
one of King's creepiest, bone-curdling stories amid decent film-making
15 December 2005 | by Quinoa1984See all my reviews

In the trivia section for Pet Sematary, it mentions that George Romero (director of two Stephen King stories, Creepshow and The Dark Half) was set to direct and then pulled out. One wonders what he would've brought to the film, as the director Mary Lambert, while not really a bad director, doesn't really bring that much imagination to this adaptation of King's novel, of which he wrote the screenplay. There are of course some very effective, grotesquely surreal scenes (mainly involving the sister Zelda, likely more of a creep-out for kids if they see the film), and the casting in some of the roles is dead-perfect. But something feels missing at times, some sort of style that could correspond with the unmistakably King-like atmosphere, which is in this case about as morbid as you're going to get without incestuous cannibals rising from the graves being thrown in (who knows if he'll save that for his final novel...)

As mentioned though, some of the casting is terrific, notably Miko Hughes as Gage Creed, the little boy who goes from being one of the cutest little kids this side of an 80's horror movie, to being a little monster (I say that as a compliment, of course, especially in scenes brandishing a certain scalpel). And there is also a juicy supporting role for Fred Gwynne of the Munsters, who plays this old, secretive man with the right notes of under-playing and doom in tone. And applause goes to whomever did the make-up on Andrew Hubatsek. But there are some other flaws though in the other casting; Dale Midkiff is good, not great, as the conflicted, disturbed father figure Creed, and his daughter Ellie is played by an actress that just didn't work for me at all.

In terms of setting up some chilling set-pieces, only a couple really stand-out: a certain plot-thickening moment (not to spoil, it does involve a cool Ramones song), and the first visit to the pet sematary (the bigger one), including the sort of mystical overtones King had in the Shining. For the most part it's a very polished directing job, though it could've been made even darker to correspond with the script. If thought out in logical terms (albeit in King terms) it is really one of his more effective works of the period. But it doesn't add up like it could, or should. Still, it makes for a nifty little midnight movie.


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