Horror was on a bit of a high in 1992 as Dead Alive, Army of Darkness, The Lawnmower Man and Buffy the Vampire Slayer all saw their releases that year. But the year also had some far weaker entries such as Witchcraft IV. Pet Sematary falls somewhere toward the upper middle. The acting is just to cheese for me to take it seriously, but it’s well paced and has more than a handful of memorable scenes.
I would go so far as to call this a good movie, except I just can’t get past Edward Furlong’s performance. How he won a Saturn Award for this role, I don’t know. Maybe I’m just the odd one out here, but I think that Jason McGuire was by far the better of the two.
Pet Sematary Two starts with Jeff Mathews (Edward Furlong) witnessing the accidental death of his mother, Renee (Darlanne Fluegel). Following her death, Jeff relocates with his father Chase (Anthony Edwards), to Ludlow, Maine. Where Chase opens up a new veterinary clinic. While setting the place up, Jeff finds a bag of kittens and asks to keep one, which he’s allowed to do. Drew (Jason McGuire) and his dog Zowie are brought in by Drew’s stepfather Gus Gilbert (Clancy Brown), the town sheriff. Zowie gets patched up and sent home with Drew and Gus. At his first day attending his new school Jeff ends up at the receiving end of a group of bullies lead by Clyde Parker (Jared Rushton) radar. His kitten (which for some inexplicable reason he decided to take with him) gets stolen by Clyde who races off. After chasing down the group, Jeff and Clyde come to blows. After losing the brawl, Jeff retrieves his kitten from a bird cage in the Pet Sematary. Not too long later Gus shoots Zowie for bothering his rabbits, one to many times. This results with Zowie dying in Drew’s arms. With Jeffs aid Drew takes Zowie to the old native burial ground up behind the Pet Sematary and buries him. Zowie returns that night, but changed in temperament. Where Zowie was once a nice, sweet dog, now Zowie teeters on savage. Drew and Gus take her Chase, who quickly become baffled as Zowie doesn’t seem to be healing and has no discernible heart beat. On Halloween Jeff and Drew go to a party in the graveyard, which Gus is unhappy with as Drew’s grounded. When Gus arrives things get physical between Drew and him. When Drew is about to get a massive beating at Gus’s hands Zowie jumps him and tears out his throat, killing him. Jeff and Drew unsure of what else to do, take Gus’s body to the burial ground and bring him back. But like Zowie, Gus returns cruel and malevolent. As Gus becomes less stable and more violent, Jeff sets about his plans to bring his mother back to life…
My only issue with the film, is that there is a lot of cheesy acting. Mostly is the good kind though, normally reserved for B Films. Clancy Brown is the actor most obviously having the most fun with his role. But the majority of the cast is incredibly solid, except for Edward Furlong and Jared Rushton. Jared Rushton suffers mostly for just having a one dimensional character, a bully for bullying’s sake. So I have a hard time faulting him, but I still do.
The film’s strength lies mainly with its pacing as the film manages to cram in quite a bit into its run time. But never bogs down, or becoming too distracted with various subplots and the finally is actually really great. Everything builds and builds until the last few moments.
Final thoughts, overall this is a really good film… if you can get past the questionable acting at places. While no Army of Darkness, or Dead Alive, Pet Sematary Two is a great sequel. One that I can easily say surpasses the original. So if you’re a fan of the first film, than most certainly give this one a watch. Heck even if you’re not still toss it in, as the film is worth seeing for a few of kills alone. Which can get pretty brutal. 7/10