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 it’s 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.