Pet Semetary (1989)

Directed by: Mary Lambert

Written by: Stephen King


Dale Midkiff .... Louis Creed
Fred Gwynne .... Jud Crandall
Denise Crosby .... Rachel Creed
Brad Greenquist .... Victor Pascow
Michael Lombard .... Irwin Goldman
Miko Hughes .... Gage Creed
Blaze Berdahl .... Ellie Creed

Special Appearance:

Stephen King .... Minister

Release Date: Theatrical: April 21, 1989; Fantasporto Film Festival: February, 1990

*Images courtesy at:





A family known as the Creed's move into a peaceful house on the countryside except they are bothered by two things, a roadway that trucks speed through all the time which makes it unsafe to be near the roadway and a pathway near their house that leads to a pet cemetary as well as a burial ground that the neighbors are reluctant to talk about.
Also, the family man and paramedic Louis (Dale Midkiff) doesn't see eye to eye with his inlaws, his wife Rachel (Denise Crosby) is still scarred about the past of his older crippled sister who died while encountering this moment and is blamed for her death and their daughter Ellie (Blaze Berdahl) is having nightmares about the roadway and her cat Church being hit by one of the trucks.
During the middle of the night, a ghost named Victor Pascow (Brad Greenquist) whom Louis tried to save after being hit by a truck tries to warn him about not going to the burial ground.
Rachel goes to visit her family with the kids but Louis stays behind and his eccentric neighbor Jud Crandall (Fred Gwynne) shows him the terrible news as that nightmare came true about Church being killed. Rachel is too hesitant to tell his daughter the upsetting news and is about to bury the cat in the cemetary but Jud takes him to the burial ground as Church is resurrected but he is not the same and acts viciously evil and still smells like a rotting corpse.
Suddenly, their son Gage (Miko Hughes) winds up running to the middle of the road to hold onto a kite during a family picnic and is hit by a speeding truck and the family loses their minds.
Louis plans to go to the burial ground once again but this time Jud tries to stop him as he explains what has happened there during his childhood when a family member or a pet was killed and they tried to do so explaining that sometimes dead is better.
Louis doesn't listen and suddenly Gage and the cat decides to kill and Louis needs to stop this before he is next.


Good shots around the cemetary in the woods for the opening credits as well as suspenseful shots on trucks speeding by the country roads as you cringe thinking that someone is going to get hit.
A good start off by Louis Creed coming out of his car seeming happy with his family looking around the property.
There's a nice peaceful shot on Rachel tucking Ellie Creed in bed with the cat in the bed with her.
A good scene with Jud Crandall towards Ellie in the cemetary telling her a scary type of tale.
There is a good conversation between Ellie talking to Louis about being scared that her cat will get hit by a vehicle and being a little emotional about it.
A great intense moment with Victor Pascow as a corpse being hauled into a hospital with the others going ballistic and Louis trying to help out.
There is a perfect creepy scene with Louis in a hospital room covering up Victor and then he grabs him and talks to him.
A nice creepy shot on Louis and Victor walking down the misty pathway to the Pet Semetary at night as well as nice effects at the semetary with Victor sounding ghoul like talking to him and warning him not to go to the burial ground which was the best and darkest moment of all.
A good shot on Jud looking up at him wearing a jacket with his hood on when he tells his neighbor Louis about a roadkill and being shaken up wondering what to tell his daughter which looked believeable too.
Perfect memorable moment in the film with Louis nervously talking on the phone with his nervous words with Ellie sounding happy on her holiday at her grandparents as this setting looked so good that you wouldn't want to devastate the poor little girl.
Great shots on Louis and Jud walking through the Semetary woods and the hills up to a burial ground which has a spooky feel to it.
Many good shots on the cat hissing and acting vicious especially a moment when Louis was going to relax in a nice hot bath with a towel over his head and the cat dropping a dead rat in his bath with him freaking out at the cat as this for sure breaks the silence big time.
A nice disturbing moment with Rachel when she tells Louis about her past crippled sister. The flashback on it all looked hard to watch and very sad on what was happening here. Definetely a good psychological moment.
A good setting with Louis helping out Gage flying a kite as it looks like a real father and toddler type of chemistry as well as a terrifying shot on little Gage walking down towards a road with a speeding truck coming by which makes it look truly disturbing.
A perfect shot on Louis screaming NOOOOO!!!! After this tragedy has happened along with some good flashbacks on some baby pictures.
There's a major perfectly intense and dysfunctional moment with Irwin Goldman going ballistic towards Louis at the funeral and attacking him along with a good shot of them accidentally knocking over the coffin and falling to the ground with others crying.
We spot a good dark conversation sequence between Jud by telling Louis about that burial ground when he plans to bury his son there as he explains what has happened after people or pets were buried there of not being the same and explaining that being dead is better.
Nice dark shots on Louis digging up his sons grave as well as him climbing up to the burial ground.
A good shot on some rocks falling off the burial ground with a little hand coming out.
A good conversation between Ellie crying towards Rachel about her dream of a ghost telling her that ole Daddy is in danger for resurrecting the dead.
Nice shots on the little hands opening up a case and taking out a dissecting knife.
A good shot on Jud sleeping in his chair and then opening his eyes acting alarmed as well as a nice moment with him holding a knife and calling out to Gage.
There's a good shot on this little boy by trying to act innocent walking up to Rachel holding a dissecting knife telling her he has something for him and her acting sympathetic and hugging him as you know the something deadly is going to happen.
A good shot on Louis with teary eyes staring at his son after what he did to save his neck.
Bottom line is that the film had a heartwarming family with a lovely pet as you don't want to twist things around and make it a nightmare for all of them and this was just what Stephen King did as he is the master of psychological and supernatural horror. I was upset seeing the loving cat die and then become evil once resurrected in the burial ground as well as the flashback memories too which showed that some of the family members had a few skeletons in their closet. It was dark and horrifying especially seeing the trucks speeding by very fast along the country roadside making the peaceful neighborhood a dangerous place to be at the same time. The dead cat looked real but thankfully it said on the closing credits that no animals were harmed during the filming. I am a cat lover.

The acting is very good as we have a great energetic performance by Dale Midkiff (Louis Creed) as the family man in the film. He shows great intensity, aggressions, emotions and niceness in one throughout the whole story. A great shocked expression by him when a corpse grabs him. Does well talking on the phone with his nervous words to his onscreen daughter after an incident. Perfect devastating scream and losing control after a tragic moment on his onscreen son. He does well freaking out on the phone when his onscreen son tells him what he did and that he's next.
Fred Gwynne
(Jud Crandall) comes across perfectly as the eccentric neighbor in the film and had the perfect looks too for the part as he almost seems like half crazy and disturbed and says his words perfectly. Does well crying afterwards when he explains on being dead is better when warning someone about the pet semetary.
Denise Crosby
(Rachel Creed) is another fine cast member as the wife and Mom in the film and really knew how to express her emotions clearly on screen. She really knew how to act emotional when she tells her onscreen husband about her crippled sister and dreaming on about it. She does well trying to assure her onscreen daughter that there's no such thing as ghosts after what she tells her what is going to happen.
Brad Greenquist
(Victor Pascow) was terrific and knew how to act creepy as a gruesome ghost trying to warn the family about the burial ground and was good at being a good ghost even if he comes across as an evil one.
Miko Hughes
(Gage Creed) is incredibly charming as the toddler in the family and for such a young tender age really knew how to do his part and also does great with his evil actions after being resurrected. We spot great blocking on him walking by holding the dissecting knife showing nasty expressions on his face.
Blaze Berdahl
(Ellie Creed) knew how to act so full of life as the daughter showing a nice attitude as you wouldn't want to break her heart.

Victor Pascow's head is sliced exposing his brain
A chopped off child's foot is exposed during a flashback memory
Jud is being cut up by a dissecting knife
A woman's face is half torn off

Terrific chanting sounds with cold sounding piano playing during the opening credits composed by Elliott Goldenthal as it leaves the film off with a great start plus he played many dark sounds for the story too.

We have a perfect songtrack by the Ramones during the closing credits with their song of "Pet Semetary" as it gives the film a perfect touch for the ending of it.

Gage: [on the the phone] Hi daddy I love you... Hi Daddy I love you.

Louis Creed: [to the cat] Fuck off, hairball!

Jud Crandall: Sometimes dead is better.

[Talking on the phone]
Gage: First I play with Judd, then Mommy came, and I play with Mommy. We play Daddy! We had a awfully good time! Now, I want to play with YOU!
Louis Creed: What did you do?
Gage: HE HA!
Louis Creed: What did you do?

Louis Creed: Go on, lay down, play dead, be dead!

Victor Pascow: I'm sorry Louis! I'm so sorry, but don't make it worse! DON'T!
Louis Creed: I waited too long with Gage, but with Rachel! It will work this time, because she just died, SHE JUST DIED A LITTLE WHILE AGO!

Gage: No Fair! No Fair, No Fair!