‘Pet Sematary: Bloodline’ review: Paramount+ prequel mines part of Stephen King’s book and brings it to life


Pet Sematary is one of Stephen King’s scariest books, but that’s not reflected well in its movie version. Yet the novel proved rich enough that a sliver of it spawned a decent little Paramount+ movie in Pet Sematary: Bloodlines, a clear and effective reminder of King’s line “Sometimes, dead Better”, and sometimes, the prequels are just too good. .

Director and co-writer Lindsey Anderson Beer deftly revisits Jud Crandall (Fred Gwynne) in the original 1989 film, thirty years later in the remake The story of Timmy Bateman, as told by John Lithgow, who first learned that humans were buried in the “acid soil” of that strange cemetery and brought back A life of killing.

The story takes place in 1969, when young Judd (Jackson White) is preparing to leave for the Peace Corps while his friend Timmy (Jack Mulhern) returns from Vietnam. The film opens with Timmy’s father (David Duchovny) digging a grave to hide his son’s death from the town, even though, as young Judd puts it, the hulking figures surrounding his home “stand out from the crowd.” Different,” displaying a flair for understatement.

Perhaps most importantly, “The Descent”, while it may be gory, doesn’t try to squeeze too much blood out of its brisk 87 minutes. Still, the film isn’t just set against the backdrop of the chaos caused by Timmy’s appearance, it also delves into the history of the small Maine village of Ludlow and the “ancient evil” that resides there.

In addition to the inherent horror of the concept, the filmmakers filled out the supporting cast with familiar faces with nifty genre credentials, including Duchovny, Henry Thomas (“ET”) as Judd’s father, and Pablo as the local sheriff. Tom Greer.

Granted, it’s hard to get excited about this kind of line extension, and Paramount may have made the right decision by sending this small-scale effort straight to streaming (even though worse horror movies have gotten theatrical releases) ; Still, in the latest wave of films and TV spinoffs derived from King’s work, expansions on King’s creepy concepts remain a pretty solid October time diversion.

In a week that adds yet another addition to The Exorcist cinematic history, Pet Sematary tackles a similar question of how to add another layer to what came before. Although Judd’s father advises him to leave Ludlow, this prequel endorses the idea that King’s town is worth visiting—or, rather, revisiting—by insisting on the idea that “the past is indeed prologue.”

Pet Sematary: Bloodlines will premiere on Paramount+ on October 6. It is rated R.

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