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FANTASTIC FEST 23' "PET SEMATARY: BLOODLINES" - movie review




Do you all recall the golden era? Back when Stephen King's movies were the talk of the town. Regardless of the outcome, there was always an unmistakable aura around watching a King-inspired film. I'll be upfront; that sensation has been missing from the horror scene lately. Not that King has faded into obscurity – far from it – but some of the recent adaptations and features based on his work haven't quite hit the mark. So, when we got wind of a film centered on one of the most iconic stories and chapters in his canon, the tale of Timmy Baterman, it piqued our curiosity.


Lindsay Anderson Beer courageously takes on the challenge of breathing new life into a franchise that has seen better days. The original sequel, TV remakes, and the like haven't received the warmest of receptions, but I have a strong hunch that all of that is about to change with "PET SEMATARY: BLOODLINES." Beer excels at delivering what feels like the true next chapter in the PET SEMATARY saga.


If you were to stop me on the street and ask me about the PET SEMATARY franchise, disregarding the other films, there are only two that matter to me: the original and "Bloodlines." Returning to my initial thoughts on what makes a great Stephen King film adaptation, the formula isn't overly complex. Superb acting? Check. A great soundtrack? Check. Young people confronting an ultimate evil in their hometown? Check. It's a formula that isn't too difficult to grasp, which is why it's puzzling that others haven't been able to replicate it. People may adore the IT remakes, and I get it, but in my opinion, the effects and CGI overshadowed one of King's most terrifying tales of all time. That's not the case with "BLOODLINES." Beer excelled at allowing the cast to showcase their range, breathing more life into the spine-chilling aspects. I'm also a fan of smartly executed gore—gore that shocks you without detracting from the overall film. "PET SEMATARY: BLOODLINES" triumphs in all these regards.


The inclusion of genre legends like Pam Grier, David Duchovny, and Henry Thomas, alongside a fantastic young cast, is another highlight. The narrative flows effortlessly, capturing the essence of reading a chapter straight from the book. Delving into an almost forgotten tale from a Stephen King book takes some courage, but Lindsay and her team prove that blending the old with the new can yield exceptional results.


I was particularly impressed with the young male leads in the film, and the female cast was equally exceptional. Jack Mulhern was a delight to watch as Timmy Baterman. This actor has been in lead roles since his childhood, and it shows. His seamless transition between confusion and malevolence produced a flawless performance that truly made him stand out. Criticizing any of the performances in the film is a tough task because the pacing was solid enough to keep you fully engaged. A standout for me was the 1968 Beaumont, adding another layer of nostalgia to a fantastic King adaptation. There are iconic cars in all of these films, not just "CHRISTINE."


In conclusion, we were thoroughly pleased with "PET SEMATARY: BLOODLINES," and it rekindles hope that someone could revisit the original sequel and keep the franchise on a positive trajectory. Whether that happens or not, Lindsay Anderson Beer deserves recognition for reigniting the flame in this beloved tale we all know and love. Will there be a return to the franchise? We certainly hope so, but whoever takes the helm should draw inspiration from Beer to ensure that King's legacy continues to shine brightly in every adaptation.


4/5


PET SEMATARY: BLOODLINES


The Paramount+ Original Movie Stars Jackson White, Forrest Goodluck, Jack Mulhern, Henry Thomas, Natalie Alyn Lind, Isabella Star LaBlanc, Samantha Mathis, with Pam Grier and David Duchovny

The Film Is Directed by Lindsey Anderson Beer,

Written by Lindsey Anderson Beer and Jeff Buhler, And Produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mark Vahradian, In Association with Paramount Pictures’ Players Label

PET SEMATARY: BLOODLINES Will Premiere on Friday, October 6, Exclusively on Paramount+

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