Pet Sematary II (1992)

DVD Cover (Paramount Reissue)
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Ranked #2,213
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Connections: Pet Sematary

A teenage boy and his father move to his recently-deceased mother's hometown, where they encounter the ancient Native American cemetery with the power to raise the dead. --IMDb
Edward Furlong
Edward Furlong
Anthony Edwards
Anthony Edwards
Clancy Brown
Clancy Brown
Jared Rushton
Jared Rushton
Darlanne Fluegel
Darlanne Fluegel
Review by Chad
Added: March 03, 2006
Tonight's sequel picks up about fifteen years after the events found in the original and centers around teenager Jeff Matthews (Edward Furlong). Jeff, as it turns out, has just watched his actress mother Renee (Darlanne Fluegel) die in an on-set accident, and as a result, his father Chase (Anthony Edwards) decides that moving the two of them out of Los Angeles and into rural Maine would be a great idea. Soon after arriving, Jeff meets up with the rather tubby Drew Gilbert (Jason McGuire), and he soon hears the legend of the Pet Sematary. "It's just a stupid ghost story" says our fat little friend, but the two decide to test this ghost story out when Drew's asshole step-dad Gus (Clancy Brown) shoots his dog dead because it was attempting to eat his rabbits. The dog comes back, of course, and it doesn't take long before the mutt gets his revenge on the man that shot him. The boys, in an effort to hide this death from Drew's mother Amanda (Lisa Waltz), decide that another burial in these Indian burial grounds is in order. If you saw the first, you know where this is going, and if you haven't... go read my review, the link is up above.

Three years is a mighty long time, isn't it? I mean, in three years, director Mary Lambert managed to forget nearly everything that she set up in the original, and she also somehow forgot what made that movie so successful; it was a damned fine piece of horror, plain and simple. While this sequel isn't completely horrid and did deliver some entertainment value for its rental price, it's not even close to being in the same league as the original tale of this "sematary."

My idea of what a perfect sequel should be is this: it should contain all of the elements of the original, but with a new spin on things. An example of this would be the Friday The 13th series; with the exception of a few, each film in the series follows the same general storyline and keeps the same "rules" intact. While it's a given that that particular series did repeat the same storyline a little bit too much, the point I'm trying to make here should be pretty clear. It seems as though the director read a cliff-notes version of the previous movie and based her storyline very loosely on said notes, which is the norm for sequels; the old "sequels never outdo the original" thing isn't around without good reason. Therefore, I could sort of understand the mauling of this storyline had it been done by a different director... however, this Mary Lambert lady is responsible for both movies. What's her excuse?

It all starts out well enough; Drew's dog dies, he and his friend bury it in the Indian burial grounds, and it returns as an evil version of its former self. That part is pretty faithful, but then father Gus is buried and things go to hell. You see, Gus isn't set on killing everyone when he first returns as we saw in the original; no sir, he's content with taking a big bite of mashed potatoes and showing it off to everyone at the dinner table. He's also turned into quite the swell, albeit odd, father according to Drew... he serves him extra portions at the dinner table, he lets him watch television, and he even lets Jeff spend the night. Sure, things turn around with this situation towards the end of the film, but this stretch of time is unrepairable by that point.

There's a few other major "rules" changes such as this throughout the movie, but I'm not going to point each one out... I'd sort of like to wrap this review up soon, and spelling out each change would take at least four or five hours. However, I would like to point out a couple of the many, many plot holes to be found throughout the running time. For starters, why does Gus feel the need to bury as many people as possible in these burial grounds? Is he trying to create an army of the undead? Second, when did he have time to? One of these burials is shown (and it makes absolutely no fucking sense whatsoever), but the other just "pops" up out of nowhere. I realize that there needs to be some surprises in a horror film and that some things happen just to move the story along, but this is ridiculous. Also, this isn't really a plot hole, but what's up with that dog? It goes from being white, to gray, to black and white, to black, and back to white again. I realize that numerous animals may be used in the shoot to represent one on-screen animal, but it's usually preferable to use animals that are vaguely the same color as one another.

Overall, it's a slightly entertaining movie with a couple of scenes that I enjoyed. The dirt-bike mauling was particularly nice, and even though Furlong's prepubescent screeching reminded me why I hated him so much in Terminator 2, my interest was held for the ninety-six minutes that this film runs. However, my interest was held only by morbid curiosity for the most part, not a deep immersion in the storyline, and certainly not because I cared what happened to anyone involved with the storyline. 4/10.
bluemeanie #1: bluemeanie - added 03/03/2006, 03:26 PM
Yeah, this was a pretty worthless sequel. The only bright spot was the underrated Clancy Brown in another villainous role. Makes me miss "Carnivale" even more. 3/10.
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