Pet Sematary (1989)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Faithfully adapted from a novel by Stephen King, this chilling horror movie tells the tale of a young physician whose family is destroyed after he moves them to a seemingly peaceful town in Maine. The trouble begins when both the family cat and their baby boy are run down on a local highway by a speeding tractor trailer, one of many that constantly roar by. Soon afterward the family makes an even more horrific discovery involving an ancient burial ground with the ability to bring back the dead.

Rating: R (adult situations/language, violence)
Genre: Horror
Directed By:
Written By: Stephen King
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 19, 2000
Paramount Home Video


as Louis Creed

as Jud Crandall

as Rachel Creed

as Victor Pascow

as Ellie Creed

as Gage Creed

as Irwin Goldman

as Missy Dandridge

as Preacher

as Marcy Charlton

as Steve Masterton

as Dory Goldman

as Girl at infirmary

as Candystriper

as Jud's Mother

as Rachel as a Child

as Bill Baterman

as Young Jud

as Logan Gate Agent

as Orinco Driver

as Timmy Baterman

as Budget Clerk

as Hitch-hike Driver

as Ellie Creed II

as Seatmate #1

as Seatmate #2
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Pet Sematary

All Critics (28) | Top Critics (4)

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Without any real scares, there's no reason at all for this movie to exist.

Full Review… | March 3, 2014
Georgia Straight

A silly and tedious horror drama...

Full Review… | August 5, 2013
Cinema Crazed

It bombs despite King adapting the screenplay from his novel.

Full Review… | May 20, 2013
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

a flawed, but still bracingly horrific film of ideas, one that maintains with substantial impact the novel's tragic themes about death and the limitations of human control

Full Review… | October 5, 2012
Q Network Film Desk of the most witless horror movies I've sat through, essentially a zombie ghost story that's wholly predictable throughout.

Full Review… | September 20, 2012
Movie Metropolis

Audience Reviews for Pet Sematary

When it comes to Stephen King adaptations, it seems that the less he actually has to do with it, the better it ultimately is. This seems to be a case of a creative mind not being able to see the big picture. King wrote the screenplay for this film and made them follow it rigorously, also helping scout locations only 20 miles from his own home in Maine, being on set during most of production, and even providing a cameo as a minister. King is undoubtedly one of the foremost couriers from the land of the dead, and a true master of horror, that cannot be denied, but he puts too much into the pacing of scenes and doesn't pay constant attention to the plotting. What happens is that a film that should be a bit bare boned actually has meaning to its scenes, yet also drags its carcass across the screen. The situation set up is enticing and the comparison between the sanctity of life and the desecration of zombie-like demons is interesting and permissive. Other than the pacing, there isn't much to pick apart in this film, because the atmosphere, cinematography, and cast are extraordinarily perfect. Again, on the cast, there are some superb choices, especially when it comes to choosing Fred Gwynne ("The Munsters") as the old, Southern neighbor who knows a bit more than he lets on. You can see the complicated framework of his past and his horror at the actions that his neighbor takes. Also a great pick was the child actor who plays the devilish Gage (Hughes). He's a loveable angel one minute and a malicious demon the next, and that seamless transition is what makes some of the last scenes in the movie very frightening. The father (Midkiff) on the other hand is wooden and unlikeable, mostly because he never seems like a father, and more like an outsider who continually screws up. That and the character's supposed insanity does not come through, which make his final actions seem like that of a dolt. The ending ultimately pays for the pacing, because that's where the only scary bits of the film lie, and that's disappointing. Otherwise it has an eerie atmosphere and some grotesque visuals, so it's worth watching for sure.

Spencer S.

Super Reviewer



Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer


Pet Sematary is a very good horror film and believe it or not somebody can make a good horror film out of a Stephen King novel. Mary Lambert does a great job with this film and manages to bring across King's creepy story pretty well. Most people may avoid this, but they should check it out. This film is surprisingly good, and is definitely one of the better King adaptations. Above all, this is one of the scariest of all of King's creations, and those who loved the book will definitely enjoy this film. This is a terrific film that delivers solid scares, and fans of the book like myself will enjoy it. I find this film adaptation to be very underrated, and it doesn't deserve the flack it has received. As far as horror films are concerned, Pet Sematary delivers a memorable and terrifying viewing experience. The film has a good cast that deliver on-screen. Actor Fred Gwynne is probably the best here, and the lead actor Dale Midkiff is good as well. This film is better than what most people would think. As far as I'm concerned, this is one of the better King adaptations that really stands out and delivers effective terror. Director Mary Lambert keeps the terror coming and the film has good atmosphere with a sense of evil, dread and helplessness. This is what makes horror so much fun to watch. Pet Sematary has all the elements that would make for a good, entertaining horror film. If you're a Stephen King fan, then check this one out. This film has plenty of effective creepy moments to give you a good scare.

Alex roy

Super Reviewer

Pet Sematary Quotes

– Submitted by Jimmy G (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Bria M (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Claudia S (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Claudia S (3 years ago)

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