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Pet Sematary II
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Pet Sematary II (1992)

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Plot Summary:
"When young Jeff Matthews' mother Renee dies in a freak accident, he and his vet father Chase move to Ludlow, Maine. Ludlow is Renee's home town. It is also close to the infamous Pet Sematary."

Review by
Phil Davies Brown
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Review Date: 21 August 2005 My Rating: out of 5


This sequel to the film version of one of Stephen King's most popular works sees Mary Lambert back at the helm, this time focusing on the trials and tribulations of Eddie Furlong's Jeff, as he tries to cope with the death of his mother.

The school bullies tell Jeff about the Indian burial ground deep in the woods behind the titular location, and Jeff and his friend Drew soon find that the legend is true. In classic 'The Monkey's Paw' style, things never go as planned and the boys soon find themselves in way over their heads.

The film signifies the beginnings of the MTV style teen horror movie, which would kick into full effect three years later with 'The Craft'. The film boasts a good cast and a number of fun set pieces, including nightmarish sequences, yucky deaths, and last but by no means least THAT scene involving a head-on collision with a potatoe truck.

Mary Lambert includes a number of stylish scenic shots (loving the aerial work) and the film has a real creepy vibe about it that is also infused with some morbidly ghoulish humour.

The cast are all very good, with Clancy Brown scaring the shite out of me just as much as he did 13 years ago, and there are plenty of gory moments to be found throughout (none of which should be viewed by animal lovers).

I remember the first film being creepier, but this sequel is still an enjoyable thrill ride and it never gets boring.

Reviewer: Ben Aslett @horrorasylum
Review Date: 31 October 2001 My Rating: out of 5

This is yet another example of where Hollywood went wrong. After the huge success that Pet Sematary had, somehow another one was churned out, hence beginning yet another short-lived horror franchise. It would seem that Pet Sematary fell into the same trap as Children Of The Corn; both great films from Stephen King books, both subjected to unnecessary sequels.

Pet Sematary II is nothing special, and that's hard to say in itself. Both the first and second film follow the same plot in one way or another - they both start off with a pet being resurrected, people being resurrected and they both have their grisly, gory moments in-between. So looking at it from that respect you would think that Pet Sematary II should at the very least be 'as good' as the first. Unfortunately it is not. The reason? Quite simply, it uses the same tried and tested idea as the first, and is played on a dramatically lower scale. This film is a lot cheesier than the original, not to mention the attempted humour in some places (only coming from Gus Gilbert's character, thankfully) is just not needed. Pet Sematary II has a serious theme that has been carried through from Pet Sematary, although not portrayed one hundred percent of the time, so it doesn't need the attempted humor.

Whereas in Pet Sematary when the dead came back it was hard to tell whether you could class them as ghosts, zombies or whatever, in this film it is blatantly obvious that a zombie theme was in mind even though this is far from a zombie flick. Also where Pet Sematary had only featured two resurrected humans, Pet Sematary II has far too many, adding yet another facet that made this film less believable.

That said, there were some nice touches to this film. At the very least it didn't do the dreaded sin of not acknowledging the previous film altogether. Although for the sake of preserving Pet Sematary in all its excellence, it might have been a good idea to. As well as this, there are some great gruesome effects, namely the cage full of half eaten kittens and with the lead actors trying hard to pull the film out of itís rut it keeps you thinking that there could be some life left in this film yet.

What ultimately drags Pet Sematary II to its foreseeable death is the dreadful directing, which fails to build even a second of suspense, atmosphere or originality. Though the film returns to both the pet sematary and the ancient Indian burial ground seen in the original, this time around the tension and ambience are lost. In my opinion using the some of the same shots that Pet Sematary used would have been a pleasing and welcome touch.

The ending of Pet Sematary II, which should have come sooner, is as weak as the rest of the film. It's a showdown between the father and his soon and zombies that had no apparent reason being in the house in the first place, and although it resembles The Lost Boys in a roundabout way, it isn't anywhere near as good. Not even a surprise conclusion to leave the viewer with something to remember the film by.

Pet Sematary II had a strong enough idea behind it to be good. While it was made in the 's it had the feel of a cheesy 's slasher mixed with an unwanted dosage of dreary zombies, and its only link with the first is the location and the way the bodies are brought back to life. Yet another disappointing sequel to a superb original.

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