Horror movies are a dime a dozen these days. A quick scan of any movie database will confirm this. Currently, Jordan Peele’s Us is taking the box office by storm, and later this year we’re going to get several more horror blockbusters including the second half of Stephen King’s IT, a modern Chucky, and a film adaptation of Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. For whatever reason, audiences have proven time and again that they love to be scared. Horror is somewhat of a niche market in both books and film, but it always manages to sustain itself with a few yearly gems, and this year’s spate isn’t likely to be an exception.
Whenever a Stephen King film gets the Hollywood treatment, it’s a boon to the industry for a multitude of reasons. King films, while they aren’t all box-office darlings, inherently have an audience in the fans of his work. The King name has transcended the world of fiction and become a pop culture touchstone; love him or hate him, it’s impossible to deny the impact he’s had on the arts over the last 45 years. Horror fans flock to theaters for his films, and those who normally pass on the blood and guts make exceptions to see the characters they love brought to life. In rare cases, a King story is so beloved that it gets multiple adaptations. 2019’s Pet Sematary is an adaptation of the 1983 novel, but it’s also a remake of the 1989 film of the same name. The new version is a relatively true-to-source retelling, but modernized. What results is a truly scary film that benefits greatly from 21st century cinematography, but doesn’t do enough to set itself apart from other contemporary horror. It’s terrific, as far as book-to-movie adaptations go–however, fans of horror movies in general who are looking for this one to stand out in a crowd may leave underwhelmed. Continue reading