“PET SEMATARY”

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - On TV -

The suc­cess of a re­make of Stephen King’s “It” has in­spired other film­mak­ers to take a fresh look at the nov­el­ist’s cat­a­log – which, for a while, seemed to yield a movie a month – and this ef­fec­tive update of another of his thrillers is among the re­sults. The au­thor’s beloved Maine is the set­ting as a Bos­ton doctor (played by Jason Clarke) moves his fam­ily there, and their new home prom­ises tran­quil­ity ... but with King’s im­print at­tached, you just know that is not to be. The most ob­vi­ous sign of that: the back­yard that long has been used as a makeshift ceme­tery for fam­ily pets by area res­i­dents, par­tic­u­larly younger ones who have some bizarre burial rites. The new­com­ers have brought along their own pet, a beloved cat, which au­to­mat­i­cally stacks the deck ... and makes a cer­tain plot turn en­tirely fore­see­able. It also puts a wel­come spot­light on the ev­er­great John Lith­gow, por­tray­ing a neigh­bor whose knowl­edge of the ter­ri­tory and its secrets ul­ti­mately leads to con­sid­er­able ter­ror for all con­cerned. Amy Seimetz also fares well as Clarke’s wife. ★★★ (R: AS, P, V) (also on Blu-ray and On De­mand)

Jason Clarke and John Lith­gow

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