“Sometimes Dead is Better.”
Pet Semetary remains one of my favorite horror movies of all time. The book and the film are pretty scary not only because of what happens in the story but the fact that it takes everyday occurances and makes them horrifying. Pet Semetery comes is based on real life happenings in Stephen Kings life only taken up a notch or two. When Stephen king taught English taught English at the University of Maine at Oronton, he lived in a house much like the Creed’s on a busy rural road much like the road that the Creed’s house sat with a neighbor like Jud. Apparently his daughter Naomi’s cat, Smuckey, was hit in that road and the kindly neighbor made Mr. King.
Apparently his youngest son, Owen wandered toward that same busy road. These events seeded the book Pet Semetery. Pet Semetery may not have ever been published Pet Semetery was published.
So many King novels are set in Maine (He always says you should write what you know) but this is one of the few movies filmed in Maine. Ellsworth, Maine to be exact. The Creed’s house stands to this day Jud’s house it was a false façade around a modern cottage. They burned this façade to protect the house behind.
The Creed family is your typical city family which has moved to the country for new opportunity, peace and quiet. (and now doubt to get away from his in-laws, the Goldman’s) Louis becomes the director at the University infirmary presumably at the U of Maine at Orono. On his first day, a student by the name of Victor Pascow is brought with his brain exposed. Presumed dead but Louis Victor actually animates to tell Louis “The soil of a mans heart is stonier.” Which really means nothing to Louis until Jud says it to him later. Victor Pascow is an expositional character in this film as well as comic relief. Victor Pascow used to scare me but I realize now he was trying to help all of them.
Dale Midkiff is a good looking man perfect for the handsome doctor but as you move on in the film you see less and less behind his eyes as he becomes a shell of his former self with each subsequent death in his life. This was the first time I’d ever seen Dale Midkiff and have been a fan ever since. In my opinion he was the best man for this park as he played it perfectly.
Rachael Creed is the wife of Louis. She is played by the beautiful Denise Crosby. Their marriage is believable and she is a housewife. She is a very sheltering mother to her children and doesn’t want Louis to tell their children of death. This may be what drives Louis to bury church as he does. They marriage is a good one however as in so many families Rachel’s family does not like Louis and questions her decision to marry him. The reasons for this are not really explored in the film it just an existing annamosity. The Goldman’s, we also see later in the film that they have a skeleton in their closet as well and is discussed by Rachel late in the movie.
Miko Hughes is, I think, the cutest kid in a horror movie to date. How anyone could not love Miko Hughes sweet face is beyond me. It is horrifying to see him die in the road and fun to see him as Evil Gage after he comes back (looking ironically like a young Zelda in a picture hanging in the Goldman’s home in Chicago). Miko is one of my favorite parts of the movie. Miko is now in his 20’s. Gages funeral didn’t affect me as much as it does now that I am older, have some life experience and understand family dynamics better.
The character of Zelda, the ‘dirty secret” in the back bedroom of the Goldman’s home was played by a man, Andrew Hubatsek,because it was felt that a woman wouldn’t have been thin enough to play the part. Zelda is no doubt scary and Denise Crosby’s brilliantly told story about her made her that much more so. She is the Goldman’s skeleton.
Church or Winston Churchill was played by 6-7 British Short hair cats. These are just gorgeous cats. Church starts as a lovely cat but becomes something sinister and should have been a cautionary tale to Louis when he hatched the plan to bury Gage in the Micmac burial ground. For me, Church is awesome.
Ellie Creed is probably one of the most annoying characters of this movie but plays a necessary role. She is the one that links Victor Pascow with Rachel. That is where she hears the name. All Ellie did was whine throughout the movie and really she just pissed me off and I wanted to smack her. Have you never fell out of a tire swing before?? I have no doubt that Ellie ended up in a mental institution of the events of her life. “God, can get his own cat, not mine.” Wa, wa, whiney bitch.
Jud Crandell, like Victor Pascow, was a major expositional character in this film. Played by Fred Gwinn, of the Munsters TV series, played an old time Maine resident complete with an impeccable Maine accent. He moves the story a long and is primarily responsible for putting the ideas in Louis head to bury the cat¸ Cage and ultimately Rachael beyond the dead fall in the Micmac burial ground with disastrous results.
“Sometimes Dead is Better”
“The soil of a man’s Heart is stonier.”
“Christ on his throne, no!”
“No fair, no fair”
“This is a place, where the dead SPEAK.”