Pet Sematary: Bloodlines review by Bobby Blakey
There have been a ton of Stephen King’s iconic novels adapted into feature films. In 1989 his novel Pet Sematary got the big screen treatment and has since become a fan favorite. It spawned numerous sequels and a remake in 2019. Now they are heading to the beginning with a new prequel Pet Sematary: Bloodlines starring Henry Thomas, David Duchovny, Samantha Mathis, Pam Grier, Jackson White, and Natalie Alyn Lind from director Lindsey Anderson Beer. Could this new chapter bring something fresh to franchise or should it have stayed buried?
Pet Sematary: Bloodlines follows a young Jud Crandall in 1969 who has dreams of leaving his hometown of Ludlow, Maine behind, but soon discovers sinister secrets buried within and is forced to confront a dark family history that will forever keep him connected to Ludlow. Banding together, Jud and his childhood friends must fight an ancient evil that has gripped Ludlow since its founding, and once unearthed has the power to destroy everything in its path.
I will be the first to admit that I have never read any of King’s books so most of my knowledge is based on the productions over the years. I do love the original Pet Sematary and well as the 2019 remake so heading into this new prequel to the remake I was intrigued to how they were going to make it work. For those not in the know it is taking the story that Jud tells them about Timmy in the film and bringing that story to life. Essentially an unnecessary prequel that has the opportunity to expand the story in new ways and more depth to the history of the ancient evil.
I am always concerned for these kinds of films, but while this one doesn’t do
a whole lot to further the classic story it still manages to entertain and bring some new info to the idea of it all. It works fine for the film it is complete with some of the usual creepy vibes especially this dog that is my favorite part. Every time that dog is on screen it offers up some striking visuals that reminds you of the Pet aspect of the story since the rest is always people coming back jacked up.
The cast all do a decent job with Duchovny really standing out for me as a tortured soul trying to find normalcy in his choices and the insanity around him. The secrets they all share in this town makes the simple original story bigger, but not really necessary or further expand it in any way that changes much. Where Jud’s phrase “Sometimes, dead is better” is iconic and used way too much here, the same can be said with sometimes less is more. I think where this film works and also hurts the original story is the need to try and do more. We don’t need explanations more than we have and works better that way.
In the end with a franchise that has had some pretty bad sequels and remakes previously this one stands as a better one and stands on its own to tell his story. It offers up some typical horror tropes that fans will enjoy but nothing that really makes it stand out more than generic. Hardcore King fans are pretty strict on their adaptations so not sure how well this will sell to them, but think if you are a fan its worth checking out.
In addition to the film this release offers up bonus content including numerous featurettes taking audiences behind bringing this latest chapter to life. Grab your copy of Pet Sematary: Bloodlines available now on digital and then on 4K, Blu-ray and DVD on December 19th from Paramount Home Entertainment.