Thursday, September 26, 2013

5 Reasons Why I Love Pet Sematary 2 (1992)

Pet Sematary (1989) is the flawed but beloved adaptation of Stephen King's novel of the same name. With King functioning as the screen writer for the original film, I think the film misses the forest for the trees. While Pet Sematary has some great moments (and still scares the bejesus out of me) I find it lacking in several areas. To make a long story short (too late) the characters get to mired in their own apathy or turmoil so small problems become big ones. Still, as I say, a lot of people loved the film and it was generally well received and went on to recoup its money and what does recouping your money in the film world? A sequel.

In 1992 original director Mary Lambert returned to helm Pet Sematary 2 with Richard Outten filing in as screenwriter. Set a few years after the events of the first film, Pet Sematary 2 follows veterinarian Chase Matthews (Anthony Edwards) and his son Jeff (Edward Furlong) as they move to the town of Ludlow after Jeff's mom dies while being a big shot movie actress and getting electrocuted on set. In an effort to move on Chase hopes that a fresh start will help, unfortunately for them Ludlow contains good schools, affordable housing and a burial ground where each has to bury their own.

They make friends, one of the friends has a dog Zowie who dies so they bury bringing it back to life but eeeeeeeeeeeevil and from there the evil doesn't stop. It's truly a crazy, whacked out ride that was not well recieved by fans but I've always really enjoyed it. Crazier yes, but you don't need to start popping Prozac's as the credits role like the first one. It keeps the spirit and ambitions of the first one but embraces the zany devilish style of Lambert and the over the top reality of the sadistic burial ground.

While I love the whole shebang, here are 5 stand out reasons why Pet Sematary 2 is one of my favourite horror movies.

The Location

This film feels like fall. You know those scented candles you can by that smell like Pumpkin Marshmallows or an Autumn Day? This movie is those but in a, well, movie. This film embraces the approach of winter with the day time scenes shot in an eerie half light and the night scenes almost have a red glow about them. Each time I watch this movie I want to jump into a car and drive up to cottage to enjoy the changing leaves and maybe burn off a bully's face with an electric bike.

Anthony Edwards

This film was made two years before ER so Edwards was still just a simple actor for hire. He's actually pretty great in this film and classes it up a whole bunch. And to be honest, anyone that can get out a line like "Don't ask me how, but Zowie got out of his cage" with a straight face is a genius. (or was just happy to be getting union paycheck)

Anthony Edwards vs Dream Sequence vs Zowie

Now this dream sequence rivals anything Polanski or Argento has dreamt up. With the film hurtling towards a climax, Anthony Edwards locks himself in his home and goes to sleep. He begins to dream of his dead wife returning and boning her. But whilst boning Pet Sematary 2 decides it wants to be the most messed up Meat Loaf video ever and goes for it, resulting in a glorious but head scratching dream sequence.

The Mythology

I legitimately like how this film handles its internal mythology. The Creeds (the family from the original) are like a distant nightmare in this town. Something that those who lived through it remember and the next generation tells like a ghost story.

The Matthews thankfully don't move into the Creed house which has been all but abandoned except for around Halloween when local kids tell ghost stories near the house. My favourite scene in the Pet Sematary 2 would probably have to be when Anthony Edwards seeks out the former vet of Ludlow to get information about how an animal could reanimate. The vet only shares the information of the Creeds that we already know and that the wife was killed a "second time" but no more information. Did Louis somehow survive? What the hell did those police reports say? There's just enough to go on that gets my imagination going but not so much so that stops it in its tracks.

The Ending

Just let it wash over you.

1 comment:

  1. Ok, I'm sold. As annoying as I find Ed "T2" Furlong, I might just have to get me drunk and watch this flick.