31 Days of Halloween: Day 19, Pet Sematary

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Pets are supposed to be cute and cuddly. But in Stephen King’s 1989 film adaptation, directed by Mary Lambert, Church, the family’s cat is anything but that.

The Creed family has recently relocated to the rural town of Ludlow, Maine, where Louis (Dale Midkiff) lands a job as a doctor. Their neighbor, Jud Crandall (Fred Gwynne), shows the family an isolated pet cemetery (misspelled ‘sematary’) in the woods behind their home. Not long after arriving in Maine, Church is run over by a car on Thanksgiving when the family is gone. Jud convinces Louis to bury the cat in the cemetery even though Louis has been warned by others to stay away from the ‘sour’ ground. He agrees, not wanting to devastate his daughter, Ellie (Blaze Berdahl).

Church comes back to life the following day, but the cat is not the same as he once was. He stinks, moves lifelessly, and behaves viciously toward Louis.

Tragedy again strikes the family with the death of their son, Gage (Miko Hughes). Overcome with grief, Louis decides to exhume his son’s body and use the burial ground to bring him back to life.

And like Church, Gage does not return to being the boy that he once was.

While it’s been years since I have actually sat down and watched this film, I remember it to be one of the most terrifying stories. Both the cat and young boy are haunting, perfect for Halloween.

It appears that viewers will have a chance to see a new version of the film, which Newsweek calls “psychologically horrific,” set to be released sometime in 2019. The movie trailer is included here as a teaser.