Archive for Stephen King

Pet Sematary (2019)

Posted in Horror Showcase, Updates with tags , , on April 5, 2019 by splatterpictures

 

 

PetSematary2019

Every Summer my Co-host, Lydia and I like to tackle an array of Stephen King films – always three and always different adaptations of his work for our Podcast; Dead Air. We, for some reason call it Stephen Kingapalooza. It’s a time where I particularly get to enjoy myself doing a show I love because it allows me a chance to wallow in the work of a writer with whom I never spent enough time appreciating as a youth.

My mother’s collection of King books was intense and dare I say, chaotic. Yet, despite this I never read more than a handful over the years. There was even a time in my life where I became rather snobbish towards King’s work. Saying things like “The most overrated author of all time.” I’ve talked about this idiotic phase of my life on the show. These days, I feel I have repent my sins. I am a King fan. I feel it’s better late than never.

Ignoring the obnoxious contrarian I was when it comes to King, I still knew one story that I held in very high regard. A story of death and of grief. It was about regret, too.  In fact it was about so many things that at the time where very important to me. Our personal perceptions of death and what we would do to bring back those we loved. As always King went back to first principles. The time when most of us encounter death for the first time. The death of a pet.  He called this story Pet Sematary.

We’re at an interesting time in horror and it seems like, King is back in fashion.  IT,  made a tonne of money during its run and redefined that classic for a new generation and although critics and fans waffled on the adaptation of Dark Tower, early buzz for Pet Sematary was landing somewhere in the middle.

Pet Sematary was made in to a film in 1989, we’ve covered it on my Podcast. It has a strong following and is considered a horror classic by any standard. Although, the film has weaker moments, mostly in the acting department. It also is touched by brilliance. Fred Gwynne’s take on Jud is, in my opinion, the highlight of the film. The film is effective, creepy and relatively faithful to King’s originally story.

Now we’re in 2019 and the world is enjoying its own sort of KingaPalooza. When the early trailers dropped for Pet Semetary and we heard dialogue from the new Jud; John Lithgow, they had my attention. Kids in creepy animal masks, walking in precession with drums? Hell yes. Then the second full trailer came and with it – controversy.

It would seem that the film would have everything. Church and the Creed family, moving to Maine, trucks, highways, Jud, Pascow . The works. However, the massive difference being that Elle not Gage would be the victim of Truck-related disaster.  The director’s (Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer) response was debatable but practical. They felt Elle was just more threatening. 9 year old reanimated child can just do more than a 3 year old.

The film has style in spades, and oozes atmosphere. It starts fairly traditionally and could be mistaken for any number of haunted house films that get made by the truck-load these days. (Pardon the expression) The story does focus more on Elle, in this adaptation. She is the one who wonders to the Pet Sematary alone, she encounters Jud, first. She is the one who almost crosses the threshold of the Dead Fall.

Even though, there is a lot of re-focusing on the part of perspectives and character interactions. The introduction to the Pascow character is nearly identical to the 89 film.  It’s hard not to compare this film to the previous incarnation. As much as I hate being that person. I can honestly say while watching the movie that only thing I sincerely missed was Fred Gwynne’s iconic voice delivering those iconic lines. That being said, Lithgow does a fantastic job with his interpretation of Jud.  I felt genuinely sorry for him. A major difference I feel is how it take a little longer for him to be integrated in to the Creed family but that makes sense in today’s modern times. Elle is his way in and within that, his motivations when it comes to Church make a lot more sense.

Church, oh my God do I love that evil  cat. There is this lazy eyed, bent that the accomplish with what I’m assuming is CGI that really makes him seem extra creepy. Those glassy eyes and mangy look are fantastic. There is one particular scene where Church looks about as menacing as possible sitting in Cage’s crib.

The Pet Sematary itself is also an amazing accomplishment. Old school horror fans like me are going to drool over the amount of spooky bent trees, and fog. So much amazing fog.  The scenes beyond the dead-fall are some of the best in terms of atmosphere I’ve seen in many years.

Let’s talk Elle. Holy. Fucking.  Shit. Played by Jete Laurence and coupled with what looks like mild CGI or very good make-up. We have a recipe for an icon. Child actors are hit and miss with me. Pet Sematary skips the wide-eyed sleepy line delivery for a far more realistic and developed character in life. I buy Elle’s performance as a living girl. In death? She is a nightmare. It’s not only that she’s constantly on the verge of a violent episode. She comes back with knowledge, learned from death. She knows people’s secrets. Knows their  regrets and will mock them. (Oh massive change from the story that sheds some light on Jud)  Elle’s revenge for being dug up is to dig up everyone’s dark secrets they would rather stay buried. She is sadistic and evil to the core. Angry but it’s so boiling beneath the surface that you can’t figure out exactly what she’s going to do. It’s an amazing performance that really makes the last half of this movie strong material. Like the change or not in my opinion this was the right call.

The ending of this film, is grim and delightful at the same time. Fans of the book and 89 film will be in for what I think is a cool surprise.

I think one of the major things to take away from this film is that the details have been changed slightly but the core of the story remains the same. This story is about letting the dead rest. Facing your grief and facing death.  If you fear  death and you’ll do anything to stop it? You open your life to evil and damnation. I highly recommend seeing this film.

Dead Air Ep 134 – Pet Sematary

Posted in Dead Air Podcast, Updates with tags , , , , , on August 24, 2018 by splatterpictures

The soil of Dead Air’s heart is stonier! Episode 134 of Dead Air sees the conclusion of our second Stephen King-apalooza, with the 1989 film, Pet Sematary!

A move to the countryside seems like the perfect choice to raise a young family at least that’s what the good doctor Louis Creed believes. Their dream home however, is near a dangerous highway that has notoriously taken the lives of many of the towns dogs and cats over the years. So many in fact that down an old worn trail is a pet cemetery, where many people’s furry friends rest. Even their new neighbor, old Judd Crandall’s dog is buried there.

After an unexpected accident with his daughters cat, Creed would do anything to spare his child the conversation of the felines untimely death. Judd, has an idea. The real power of the Pet Cemetery. The power that lies far past the dead-fall. The power to bring back that which is lost.

There is another terrible accident, this time Creeds, young son. Could this mystical place bring back a person? Should it? What is the terrible truth of forcing someone to live their life again?

Grab your shovels and pickaxes. Dead Air will dig deep beneath the sour earth to find out if dead, truly is better.

Dead Air Ep 133 – Christine

Posted in Dead Air Podcast with tags , , , , on August 10, 2018 by splatterpictures

With our deep love of 50s music and muscle cars, it’s about time we get in and take a cruise in the good ol’ Stephen King’s classic – Christine.

Maybe it is more of our deep love for 80s horror and teenagers getting slaughtered! When Arnie met Christine it was like worlds colliding.

Then, she collided into every sad sack that did him wrong at school, and his boss, and his girlfriend, which stung because Christine was a giant shark of a car made of American Steel with a heart forged in Hell.

Dead Air Ep 132 – Carrie

Posted in Dead Air Podcast, Updates with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 27, 2018 by splatterpictures

If you have a taste for terror. You have a date, with Dead Air! Episode 132 kicks off our official Stephen Kingapalooza 2! We’re starting things off with the classic 1976 Stephen King adaptation; Carrie!

Carrie White is the girl nobody likes! Creepy Carrie they call her! Ostracized by her classmates at best and tormented at worst. The senior class gears up to celebrate prom when seemingly out of the blue the most popular boy in school, Tommy asks Carrie to be his date.

She reluctantly agrees, but her worst suspicions come to pass as a cruel prank is also in the works. However, her would be tormentors and cruel mother have no idea what Carrie is becoming and it will be the last mistake they ever make.

Sit back while Wes and Lydia talk about Brian De Palma’s masterpiece that would create an indelible mark on horror with Sissy Spacek’s portrayal of Carrie White.