A few words about…™ Pet Sematary — in 4k UHD Blu-ray

Upgrade from Blu-ray - absolutely! 4 Stars

Pet Sematary is a difficult film to review, as auto-correct continuously attempts to have its way with the title.

The 1989 original, directed by Mary Lambert, isn’t the kind of film I would normally watch. Therefore my comments will not apply to the masses who probably love it.

To me, it doesn’t hold up, or alternatively, was never a good film.

It is, however, a necessity for Stephen King completists.

And for those folks, it’s terrific news, as Paramount’s new 4k Blu-ray is gorgeous. Highly resolved, with inky blacks, and beautiful color.

Audio, in DTS-HD MA, is rich and full.

Nary a problem in sight.

Image – 5

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail – Pass

Upgrade from Blu-ray – absolutely!

RAH

Published by

Robert Harris

editor,member

28 Comments

  1. My teenage self liked this film a lot more than my current self. I tried to watch some of it on cable recently and didn't stick with it for very long. All the acting aside from Fred Gwynne (and Church) was pretty awful.

  2. Malcolm R

    … All the acting aside from Fred Gwynne (and Church) was pretty awful.

    just about it. I miss Herman Munster. I wish he was around to cameo at least. The new Church looks fantastic though.

    The first big disappointment for me after becoming a fan of KIng's stuff was this awful movie. The book along with IT was a favorite. Also Misery. All read when I was in my late teens or near 20 before seeing the movies. Luckily they got 2 out of 3 right. I started watching the movie for laughs but soon after found that people actually liked and even loved the movie. Couldn't believe it.

    The new one sure looks like it's getting some things right. The whole Wicker Man vibe is terrific. Can't wait!

    Now, Talisman… please. 🙂

  3. Radioman970

    just about it. I miss Herman Munster. I wish he was around to cameo at least. The new Church looks fantastic though.

    The first big disappointment for me after becoming a fan of KIng's stuff was this awful movie. The book along with IT was a favorite. Also Misery. All read when I was in my late teens or near 20 before seeing the movies. Luckily they got 2 out of 3 right. I started watching the movie for laughs but soon after found that people actually liked and even loved the movie. Couldn't believe it.

    The new one sure looks like it's getting some things right. The whole Wicker Man vibe is terrific. Can't wait!

    Now, Talisman… please. 🙂

    The tale seems more based upon The Monkey’s Paw.

  4. I saw it on opening night in 11th grade. Had a blast as the theater was full of kids my age so lots of screams, laughs, etc. As a result, the movie always had nostalgia for me and I will be picking it up. I never thought it was a bad movie although the last 20 minutes started to push it a little.

  5. Dave H

    I saw it on opening night in 11th grade. Had a blast as the theater was full of kids my age so lots of screams, laughs, etc. As a result, the movie always had nostalgia for me…

    I have a similar nostalgia for it. It's not a great movie but I remember me and a friend renting it when I was in elementary school and being scared so it holds a spot in my heart.

    The best thing about the movie is that there's a couple of songs from the Ramones.

  6. I also have the same feelings on this movie for the most part. While it is a nostalgic piece for me and while it is not the best movie out there it is also not that bad. There are far worse movies out there and given that I never got around to owning this title I for sure will be picking up the 4K release soon.

  7. I’ve always loved this film. I don’t think there is anything wrong with the acting; it’s not Academy Award material or anything but the film remains a very faithful adaptation of the book. A mini-series would have done an even better job but still one of the most accurate King adaptations out there.

    I won’t be buying the 4K version because I don’t have a 4K TV or player but I’ve owned the film since VHS and I’m very happy with my Blu-Ray copy.

    A bit off topic but I recently watched Gerald’s Game on Netflix which was directed by the same guy who is making the Doctor Sleep film that’s coming out later this year (Mike Flanagan). If GG is anything to go by, we’re in for a treat.

  8. Tino

    I thought this film was laughably inept when it was first released in 1989.

    “No fair”. Whaaaaaaaa:emoji_tired_face:

    I doubt I would think it has improved.

    I watched the 4K the other day and couldn't even remember if I ever saw this version.

    If I did, I forgot it – for good reason, as it's a pretty weak film. Felt more like a TV movie than a big screen affair.

    There are definitely worse King adaptations, but that's more of an indictment of all the bad King-based films than a plug for this one…

  9. The strong suit of the film is how creepy it is. One weak part of it is I didn’t believe that the couple with the young child would buy a house on a road that had constant traffic and semis speeding by the house.

  10. Robert Harris

    The tale seems more based upon The Monkey’s Paw.

    It absolutely is. The book is occasionally quite frightening (especially — for this Mainer — regarding the legend of the Wendigo). The first movie is one of the two dozen awful King adaptations produced during the 70's-80's. I have not yet seen the new one, but might rent it later. Don't wanna waste ten bucks on a remake of a terrible movie…

  11. Jeffrey D

    The strong suit of the film is how creepy it is. One weak part of it is I didn’t believe that the couple with the young child would buy a house on a road that had constant traffic and semis speeding by the house.

    "In 1978, King returned to his alma mater, the University of Maine at Orono, to teach for a year as a gesture of gratitude for the education he had received there. During this time his family rented a house on a busy road in Orrington. The road claimed the lives of a number of pets, and the neighborhood children had created a pet cemetery in a field near the Kings' home. King's daughter Naomi buried her cat "Smucky" there after it was hit, and shortly thereafter their son Owen had a close call running toward the road."

  12. Jeffrey D

    The strong suit of the film is how creepy it is. One weak part of it is I didn’t believe that the couple with the young child would buy a house on a road that had constant traffic and semis speeding by the house.

    The novel was based on King's own experience of living in a similar house with a young family and a near accident. He regards the novel as the most frightening book he's written and the only reason it got published was because he used the manuscript to finish up a deal with a publisher he wanted to leave.

    Dick

    It absolutely is. The book is occasionally quite frightening (especially — for this Mainer — regarding the legend of the Wendigo). The first movie is one of the two dozen awful King adaptations produced during the 70's-80's. I have not yet seen the new one, but might rent it later. Don't wanna waste ten bucks on a remake of a terrible movie…

    This is the first I've heard of a PS remake. Just googled it and I don't like the sound of John Lithgow as Jud Crandall. I don't think the role is for him at all but I'll give him the chance to prove me wrong.

  13. that's nice about PET SEMATARY's 4K from Paramount. but Robert, what is the deal with Paramount? why so many famous titles left hanging when it comes to Blu-ray restoration and upgrade? THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH, ORDINARY PEOPLE, RAGTIME, ROMAN HOLIDAY, MOMMIE DEAREST, DRAGONSLAYER, THE ELEPHANT MAN, ATLANTIC CITY, MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS, ROMEO & JULIET, PAPER MOON, LADY SINGS THE BLUES, CATCH 22…..and the list goes on. what's going on with one of the great studios? no interest in their great library?

  14. English Invader

    A bit off topic but I recently watched Gerald's Game on Netflix which was directed by the same guy who is making the Doctor Sleep film that's coming out later this year (Mike Flanagan). If GG is anything to go by, we're in for a treat.

    Try The Haunting Of Hill House on Netflix to see Flanagan’s true potential. It’s terrifying.

  15. Bill Fisher

    that's nice about PET SEMATARY's 4K from Paramount. but Robert, what is the deal with Paramount? why so many famous titles left hanging when it comes to Blu-ray restoration and upgrade? THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH, ORDINARY PEOPLE, RAGTIME, ROMAN HOLIDAY, MOMMIE DEAREST, DRAGONSLAYER, THE ELEPHANT MAN, ATLANTIC CITY, MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS, ROMEO & JULIET, PAPER MOON, LADY SINGS THE BLUES, CATCH 22…..and the list goes on. what's going on with one of the great studios? no interest in their great library?

    Paramount seemed really invested in catalog 4Ks for a while there but now they've slowed to a crawl.

    I'm guessing those catalog 4Ks didn't sell as well as hoped so they're not pushing as hard as they had.

    "Pet Sem" is a logical choice due to the new version, but I guess they don't see the same marketing opportunity for the movies you mention…

  16. Colin Jacobson

    Paramount seemed really invested in catalog 4Ks for a while there but now they've slowed to a crawl.

    I'm guessing those catalog 4Ks didn't sell as well as hoped so they're not pushing as hard as they had.

    "Pet Sem" is a logical choice due to the new version, but I guess they don't see the same marketing opportunity for the movies you mention…

    Honestly, the studios don't even try. I assume marketing departments are headed by younger executives that probably haven't even seen these classics. They couldn't care less. Probably pissed that Paramount doesn't have any Marvel franchises they can get excited about. Guess we'll have to wait for Criterion to take on some of these projects, like they did with NASHVILLE–an astonishingly great restoration.

  17. The strong suit of the film is how creepy it is. One weak part of it is I didn’t believe that the couple with the young child would buy a house on a road that had constant traffic and semis speeding by the house.

    Depended on if they looked the house over on a day there was no traffic so the realtor could unload the house, so very possible. If it not outside of the realm of possibility for it to happen. Especially when there are houses with things that happen in them that the realtor hide and do not tell the potential buyers.

  18. Dave Moritz

    Depended on if they looked the house over on a day there was no traffic so the realtor could unload the house, so very possible. If it not outside of the realm of possibility for it to happen. Especially when there are houses with things that happen in them that the realtor hide and do not tell the potential buyers.

    I think it's more odd that Louis committed to buying the property before showing his wife and family and that Rachel was ok with him making such a key decision without consulting her.

  19. Jeffrey D

    The strong suit of the film is how creepy it is. One weak part of it is I didn’t believe that the couple with the young child would buy a house on a road that had constant traffic and semis speeding by the house.

    Don't believe it? In big cities and nearby suburbs, it's happening all over the place. I could understand it if such housing was a lot less expensive, but it tends to be almost as expensive as houses in better locations. When I see all the new developments alongside the Long Island Expressway, where there's heavy traffic 24 hours a day, I think the people who buy those houses are out of their minds. Or, where I live in Queens where $800,000 2-bedroon condos have been built on Queens Blvd., also known as the "highway of death" (maybe there's a movie in that).

  20. Saw the new film today. To give them credit, they've done a lot with the concept and made it into a very different beast from the 1989 film and the book. I like what they've done but it's never going to capture my heart like the first film did. The music in particular left me flat compared to the sombre piano melody from the first film.

    John Lithgow proved me wrong and did a very good job as Jud Crandall. Can't fault any of the other actors/actresses either.

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