I’m on a hunt for the scariest movies of all time! I’ll be looking at films of any era, from any country, and then reviewing them based solely on how terrifying they are.
If you have a suggestion for a horror movie, please let me know on Twitter.
Please be advised, spoilers may lie ahead!!
Pet Sematary Two (1992)
Director: Mary Lambert
Starring: Edward Furlong, Jason McGuire
As we enter the spooky season here at EZIYODA, it felt like the perfect time to dip back into the well of horror movies. Alas, I opted for a film that is anything but perfect, and boy is my face red (with blood, from repeatedly smashing my head into the wall).
Set some time after the events of the original Pet Sematary, this disjointed sequel follows a young boy mourning the grisly death of his mother, dealing with bullying and isolation at every turn.
Unsurprisingly, this leads to inappropriate burying of bodies, and subsequent mayhem.
In my initial review of Jordan Peele’s Nope, I expressed my clear intent to differentiate what makes a movie good from what makes a movie scary. After watching Pet Sematary Two, I am left with an understanding that the former must be true in order for the latter to be possible.
The film suffers from cardboard thin characterisation and juvenile storytelling, with shit just happening for the sole purpose of hastily arriving at our destination. It’s somewhat mind-boggling that this movie was even created in the first place, as it rehashes the plot from the original while stripping it of any cohesion.
In Pet Sematary, the point of conflict emerges from a tragic highway accident. In Pet Sematary Two, the point of conflict emerges when the protagonist, Jeff, inexplicably brings his kitten to school. Who would ever do this, particularly concealed in their coat pocket? It’s the second dumbest thing Edward Furlong has done with animals, evoking groans where there should be gasps.
Compounding matters further, the ill-fitting soundscape completely removes any potential sense of immersion or dread. It’s as if the music department got hammered, picked up the nearest album and inserted the track listing in sequential order.
Eventually, we proceed to the long-awaited killing spree, a veritable ‘hurrah’ moment where we get to enjoy some excellent practical effects. It’s never remotely scary, as the chief antagonist of this movie, Gus Gilbert, actually ends up being quite hilarious.
He deserves special mention, shifting from a smug, sniping prick of a sheriff to a grinning zombie murderer. Is he even supposed to be menacing? Or intentionally goofy, a la Freddy Krueger in later entries?
He’s almost worth the price of admission for his antics alone, with Clancy Brown absolutely chewing the set with voracity. …Almost.
Pet Sematary Two is somehow absurd and boring in equal measures, better resembling an ultra-violent episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark than the original film. That’s not a slight on the Nickelodeon series, by the way; more indicative of how misplaced this disaster’s $8 million budget was.
The only attempts at jump scares are so stupid they’re downright comical, the narrative is clunky and puerile, and any hope of world-building is completely absent; replaced by an obtuse soundtrack and goopy wounds.
If the sole intention of these articles is to find the scariest movie of all time, then one without a single scare doesn’t warrant any merit points whatsoever.
Stephen King wanted his name removed from the credits of Pet Sematary Two. I would like my memory of its existence to be removed, too.