Featured Image: The cover of Stephen King’s book, ‘Pet Sematary,’ the inspiration for the 1989, 2019 and 2023 horror films. stephenking.com | Courtesy
As the Halloween season approaches, adrenaline enthusiasts are on the hunt for new skin-crawling scary movies. If you have an appreciation for revisited classics, “Pet Sematary: Bloodlines” is perfect, however it is only available to stream on Paramount+. The 1989 and 2019 versions are available on Max and Paramount+ as well. Between the three movies, the integral character Jud Crandall is played by three different actors, since the original and remake are 24 years apart and Bloodlines shows his backstory.
In the “Pet Sematary” movie, the original and remake, we are introduced to Jud Crandall (Fred Gwynne and John Lithgrow respectively), an elderly man who was born and raised in Ludlow, Maine. In this quaint town, they fear the pet cemetery–an ancient Indigenous site–where individuals have buried animals and, in certain cases, family members.
Anything buried in the cemetery has a nasty habit of coming back to life, as an evil, vengeful version of their past selves. While Crandall is perceived as a worrisome old man in the older version, in the most recent rendition, Jud Crandall (Jackson White) is brought to life as a younger man. On the verge of fleeing his hometown with his girlfriend, only an unfortunate accident prevents Crandall from leaving. The movie follows Crandall and his friend Manny Rivers (Forrest Goodluck) as they go through a living nightmare.
Fighting to end what should have never been started, the boys start their journey by going to the church, the origin of the issue, to uncover buried secrets. They find out the ominous truth surrounding their town and face an almost insurmountable threat. Little does Crandall know that this wouldn’t be that last time.
In a total attitude reversal, by the end, Rivers decides it is time to leave and start over in another place while Crandall decides he needs to stay in town, just in case. This riveting movie sets the context and disheartening tone for the events that follow. “Pet Sematary: Bloodlines” rounds out the series, making it a smashing hit to add to your spooky season set.
By Mikayla Moscatelli