Dark horror enlivened by flashes of humor and good performance by Clancy Brown...
Some of the scathing reviews from those who preferred the original PET SEMATARY rather than this sequel, are misleading, no matter how well-intentioned these viewers were. This horror film, full of the kind of touches evident in any Stephen King story, is really much better than these reviews would have you believe.
The premise, of course, is a silly one--that burying dead animals or human beings in a specially cursed Indian sematary will bring them back to life, deadlier than ever in evil intent. But once you get beyond that, there's enough fright and scares invoked by the script and by the clever direction of Mary Lambert, particularly in sequences involving Clancy Brown. His return from the grave is marked by some really scary and howlingly funny moments that give the film a sense of life it otherwise would have lacked.
She has also directed her two youthful protagonists, Edward Furlong and Jason McGuire, in such a manner that she gets skillful performances from them. Furlong has a glowing presence that fits the material beautifully and McGuire has a naturalness that is refreshing and real.
And the story actually covers a lot of ground, everything from bad parenting to bullying from one's peers and lots of revenge motifs that lead to some truly harrowing moments. Alas, it's true that much of the action has a mean-spirited slant but all of it is somewhat softened by touches of real humor.
Worth a look if you enjoyed the first PET SEMATARY.
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