How Scary is 2019’s ‘Pet Sematary’ Really?

Stephen King has long been known as the king of horror. A great number of his horror books have been made into movies, and they were absolutely frightening even before the digital age made horror flicks reminiscent of actual nightmares. A few of the more infamous films that King is responsible for include Carrie, The Mist, It, Pet Sematary, Misery, The Shining, and 1408.

Several movies have recently gotten modern makeovers that made them even scarier than the original — which is saying quite a bit. A prime example is It, which came back to theaters to frighten a whole new generation of people in 2017. The newest modern makeover? A brand new Pet Sematary, remade from the 1989 film. 

Some have called Pet Sematary the scariest movie of 2019, while others are of a very different opinion. Still, others wonder if seeing the new film is worth revisiting the story if they saw the 1989 version. How much, really, could change? Just how scary is 2019’s Pet Sematary really? We have the answers.

How scary is 2019’s ‘Pet Sematary’ really?

Most critics agree that Pet Sematary is delightfully frightening and will have people sleeping with the lights on for a few nights. The original story, published in a 1983 book, was built on an incredibly frightening aspect (as one would expect from a King novel). The idea is that a special burying place for pets (the pet’s cemetery) will bring beloved pets back from the dead. But they aren’t the same as before, although it is never really explained why they’re so different in their zombie-like state.

How are they different? They’re angry, sadistic, and (mostly) evil. When a horrible accident takes a child, the dad does what most of us think we would do in that situation. He buries his child in the pet’s cemetery, which he already knows brings things back to life. Unfortunately, his child is no longer the same and all hell breaks loose. 

Is it exactly like the 1989 film?

Although the film isn’t set to hit theaters until April 5th, the current reviews state the film is not like the 1989 version it’s based on. In fact, they say it’s a loose adaptation, sticking very closely to the original novel but including elements that are not included in either previous version. In fact, the current reviews say the ending is totally different, which would mean the film is well worth watching for those who’ve already seen the 1989 film or even read the book. 

Why is ‘Pet Sematary’ so scary?

While Pet Sematary is frightening in the traditional aspect of ghosts, ghouls, zombies or whatever you want to call the things that have returned from the dead, that isn’t the only reason it’s so scary. What most people agree on is that Pet Sematary is so frightening because it brings to life every adult’s greatest fears in a very childlike nightmare format. 

The movie focuses on building up suspense in realistic, everyday fears before delving into the otherworldly terrors that make the movie famous. This includes the loss of a child, questioning the existential, loss of a wife, moving to a new town, taking on a new job, and other normal adult fears. 

Upon this seemingly mundane, domestic plot is laid a heavy “what if” that the plot runs with. What if you could bring your child back to life? Would you be able to resist the urge if someone said they “don’t come back the same,” or would you take a chance anyway? Pet Sematary shows us just what that might look like, in a way that only the great King could imagine.