PET SEMATARY TWO (1992)
Sequel to the 1989 Stephen King book-based movie opens with the accidental on-set death of actress Renee Matthews (Darlanne Fluegel) right in front of her teen son Jeff (Edward Furlong). His veterinarian father Chase (Anthony Edwards) decides to get him as far from L.A. as possible and moves them across country to remote Ludlow, Maine. Ludlow is still affected by the events involving the Creed family and frightening strikes twice as Jeff and his new friend Drew (Jason McGuire) bury Drew’s murdered dog Zowie in the infamous “Pet Sematary” …along with the dog’s killer, Drew’s a-hole of a stepfather Sheriff Gus Gilbert (Clancy Brown). Bad idea on both counts!
Spooky sequel is directed by Mary Lambert, who also directed the first, from a script by Richard Outten. It’s more of an over-the-top and fun movie with Clancy Brown’s diabolically evil reanimated sheriff stealing every scene and making for an entertaining and creepy villain. There are some legitimately spooky moments, some very bloody kills, too and it is thick with atmosphere, despite its somewhat off-the-wall tone. Though it is early 90s, it still feels like an 80s flick and wisely plays its carnage and more ludicrous story straight. Why no one, including his own wife, seems to realize the jerk of a sheriff is a reanimated corpse, complete with gaping neck wound from the revived and pissed off Zowie, is amusingly hilarious in itself. Even with some unintentional goofiness, it is still a dark and effective chiller all the more entertaining because it mixes the scares and more oddball moments very well. Technically it looks great with Russell Carpenter’s unsettling cinematography and is given extra atmosphere from Mark Governor’s spooky score. Flick was a box office disappointment in 1992 and was not received well critically either, but all these years later and with the proper nostalgia, it is actually a fun night on the couch with the appropriate beverages.
The cast here is good. Furlong makes a solid lead as the emotionally wounded Jeff and even he gets to play a little darkly over-the-top when Jeff decides to try to reanimate mom you know where. Anthony Edwards is good as his concerned father who is starting to realize something very weird is going on in town. Clancy Brown is an over-the-top blast as the douche sheriff reanimated as an even bigger dirtbag. He simply gives every scene all he’s got and takes the villainous ball and runs with it enthusiastically. Jason McGuire is also good and sympathetic as the bullied Drew. A boy picked on by classmates and his stepfather. Jared Rushton is also very effective as local bully Clyde Parker and Lisa Waltz is solid as well as Drew’s mom Amanda who is too afraid of Gus to defend her son against his harsh discipline. A good cast
Whether you think this is a good movie or a worthy sequel to a film now regarded as a classic is up to you. It also depends on how serious you want to take it. If you just accept it as its own thing and just go with it, you can have a lot of fun with Pet Sematary Two. It has some very spooky and atmospheric moments, some good gore and a delightfully over-the-top and sinister bad guy, even before he returns from the grave. It has a good cast, and, with the addition of teen bully Clyde, not one but two villains who get to dial it up to 11 once they get buried in that place that Ludlow citizens should know enough to avoid…
…. but if they did, there wouldn’t be a movie and a sequel now would there?
Rated 3 (out of 4) drill bits!