NEW EPISODE: In this time of quarantine, are you suspecting your children may be…evil? Try Ep9 of my #podcast @PopArt-Damien Riley/@rileyonfilm & I talk The Omen/Village of the Damned https://t.co/WY8KV2vK0Y & https://t.co/j4Z7YUe3WE #TCMParty #FilmTwitter pic.twitter.com/BWvNAauNqx— howard casner (@howardcasner) May 29, 2020
Hi listeners! These are songs from my band and solo recording collection which starts about 1984 and ends with songs I recorded last year (with hopefully more to follow!) If I am not singing, I’m playing the lead guitar on these tracks. Sometimes, I do both.
Although the clown monster hit “It” of the same year may have ended up grossing more box office dollars, “Pet Sematary” is a much better horror movie written by Stephen King, in my opinion. The creepiness permeates and paves the way for a quaint yet terrifying tale of one family and a mystic pet cemetery just behind their house.
I have observed modern horror includes both remakes of past hits as well as re imaginings. These span from “Friday the 13th” to “The Fly” and beyond. Here we have a remake with a slight re imagining element. Pet Sematary revitalizes the beloved 80’s film by Stephen King and respectively repackages it into a film that is more artful, more creepy, and more thought provoking than the original. This isn’t just a jump-scare film either, though it has some of that. It is a horror film through and through creepiness and dark, misty atmosphere included.
Quaint may not be the best adjective for this tale in that it has elements of horror and gore interspersed with a simple story about a quaint family in an all-American home. I think it’s important to note however that getting a story across should have simple pillars. I think the clown film “It” gets way into the complicated zone and for me this detracts from the power of the story. This film indeed has a quaint, or simple, story that is tastefully told using horror elements that accentuate instead of blot it out.
Another benefit of this simplicity is that entry level horror fans can have better access to it. Walking into a haunted house, the riff raff gets sorted out pretty quickly. By that I mean: they do not continue. If it’s a more mild form of scare, they may come through and enjoy the whole attraction. That happened with my youngest daughter, age 11. She’s not into horror yet but she really wanted to see this movie. She ended up loving it. She’s still not claiming to be a horror fan but I would say this film has that “entry level horror” quality to it.
The trailer is not “entry level” sounding, let’s listen to it now …
At the get go I want to address the direction “team.” Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer. This film plays like a film that people cared for over a long time. There are no accidents. It all works perfectly too. These directors are behind “Starry Eyes.” This goes to show you they had a value for graphic horror in this film. “Starry Eyes” is one of those films where you relate because it looks like it could be happening in your own home or apartment. In fact, as the body count rises, you start thinking about how you will need to hide the evidence. These two can make the film personal and bring the creepiness home to the horror fan. Since “Pet Sematary” takes place with a family in a home and builds its horror moments between family members, Kolsch was a perfect choice. You feel that creepy atmosphere and personal discomfort. I think I’ve discovered a new favorite director team. You can bet I’ll be watching everything they do. I also applaud the producers here for supporting these two on this project. I can only dream of what they COULD have done with “It.” As it is, I am not a huge fan.
A shout out must go to Matt Greenburg for crafting the screenplay. He did Reign of Fire which I really enjoyed. He has some other films under his belt he’s done that are quite impressive: “Seventh Son” and “Halloween H20.” Clearly this project required a talented writer. I loved some of the carefully made changes. They are actually more nods to the original film rather than just detail changes. Here at the beginning, let’s take a look at this cast and see how it stacks up to horror. Jason Clark plays the father/husband in this. He does a pretty good job overall. How do I say this respectfully and delicately? Clark lacks the range in my opinion to play what this role requires. When he is tender with his wife and family his face looks exactly the same as when he is obsessing. There are a couple scenes where it’s hard to know if he is a secretive killer (even though most people know the character he playing well from the book from the prior film). I saw an interview with Clark where he spoke about (in his thick Australian accent) how his personal focus in the role was to show people his fatherly, loving relationship with his daughter, wife and son, and then let them react to what happens bad in the movie. I think he said the right things but his facial expressions and demeanor never really changed it seems and it did seem out of place when he did the things he did before and then later in the film as well.
An actor with a somewhat more calming and happy countenance might have improved the role I think. It’s important we really identify and like the protagonist in this story. I feel Clark is miscast in this role.
Amy Seimetz is a better casting choice. She plays the cuddling wife that truly relies on her husband. She is recovering from the trauma of the death of her sister and this weighs heavy on her moods and most importantly, prevents her from finding peace in her life. I think her character shows the largest moral in this story. When we lose a pet or a loved one, the natural course of grieving should eventually allow them to “rest in peace.” The inability to let them go interrupts that process and people get, well “strange.” They can, in fact, go mad. This is where Stephen King’s phrase “Sometimes dead is better.” fits in nicely to the main idea of the movie: Let the dead go! BUt Seimetz is a fresh place of relief in this movie. She represents more innocence than anyone, even though she feels so guilty for Zelda’s death.
Jeté Laurence is a ray of sunshine in this. She already has a lot of acting work on her resume The Snowman (2017), The Americans (2013) and Jessica Jones (2015). This young one has been listening to the grownups! She has some acting chops that are devastatingly sharp. Not only is she very cute but she knows how to play ugly too. She plays a much deeper and wider role in this than the actor plays in the original.
Don’t believe the hype. Yes there is nudity, so there’s that. Unlike many people I know online giving glowing reviews I…
do not think it’s the best film of 2019
think the camera angles and long shots are the best features
I don’t get the lesbian love story that of course had girl on girl sex scenes. (Whodathunkit?) Perhaps I am being rustic but it could have been told better, more subtly. Just me.
Once again fell for the hype around a French movie w subtitles.
You can safely miss this one.
Elizabeth Moss is getting to be a force to reckon with in Hollywood. I’ve loved her stuff for years, the earliest I recall being “The One I Love” with Mark Duplass. That’s a crazy sci-fi movie too though nothing on the gigantic scale of Leigh Whannell’s “The Invisible Man.” I liked Moss in this and that’s what made the over 2 hours palatable. Unfortunately the cool stuff was saved until the end and anything else awesome was glittered few and far between.
The story has nothing to do with the 1933 classic version other than the man’s last name. It waits over half the film to show anything “invisible.” Moss’ expressive eyes keep us happy but hungry on the journey. When the shit goes down it’s pretty fun but not amazing. I really have no more to say about this film. It’s a fun ride but nothing like what it could have been.
I was hoping for a scoundrel out doing mischievous acts. Instead we have an invisible stalker messing with his woman for no apparent reason other than the fact that she has the balls to disagree with him (?) Leigh Whannell could have done much better in the screenplay chair. I must dissent from the masses on this one. You could miss this one. 6/10