In 1992 original director Mary Lambert returned to helm Pet Sematary 2 with Richard Outten filing in as screenwriter. Set a few years after the events of the first film, Pet Sematary 2 follows veterinarian Chase Matthews (Anthony Edwards) and his son Jeff (Edward Furlong) as they move to the town of Ludlow after Jeff's mom dies while being a big shot movie actress and getting electrocuted on set. In an effort to move on Chase hopes that a fresh start will help, unfortunately for them Ludlow contains good schools, affordable housing and a burial ground where each has to bury their own.
They make friends, one of the friends has a dog Zowie who dies so they bury bringing it back to life but eeeeeeeeeeeevil and from there the evil doesn't stop. It's truly a crazy, whacked out ride that was not well recieved by fans but I've always really enjoyed it. Crazier yes, but you don't need to start popping Prozac's as the credits role like the first one. It keeps the spirit and ambitions of the first one but embraces the zany devilish style of Lambert and the over the top reality of the sadistic burial ground.
While I love the whole shebang, here are 5 stand out reasons why Pet Sematary 2 is one of my favourite horror movies.
This film feels like fall. You know those scented candles you can by that smell like Pumpkin Marshmallows or an Autumn Day? This movie is those but in a, well, movie. This film embraces the approach of winter with the day time scenes shot in an eerie half light and the night scenes almost have a red glow about them. Each time I watch this movie I want to jump into a car and drive up to cottage to enjoy the changing leaves and maybe burn off a bully's face with an electric bike.
This film was made two years before ER so Edwards was still just a simple actor for hire. He's actually pretty great in this film and classes it up a whole bunch. And to be honest, anyone that can get out a line like "Don't ask me how, but Zowie got out of his cage" with a straight face is a genius. (or was just happy to be getting union paycheck)
Anthony Edwards vs Dream Sequence vs Zowie
Now this dream sequence rivals anything Polanski or Argento has dreamt up. With the film hurtling towards a climax, Anthony Edwards locks himself in his home and goes to sleep. He begins to dream of his dead wife returning and boning her. But whilst boning Pet Sematary 2 decides it wants to be the most messed up Meat Loaf video ever and goes for it, resulting in a glorious but head scratching dream sequence.
I legitimately like how this film handles its internal mythology. The Creeds (the family from the original) are like a distant nightmare in this town. Something that those who lived through it remember and the next generation tells like a ghost story.
The Matthews thankfully don't move into the Creed house which has been all but abandoned except for around Halloween when local kids tell ghost stories near the house. My favourite scene in the Pet Sematary 2 would probably have to be when Anthony Edwards seeks out the former vet of Ludlow to get information about how an animal could reanimate. The vet only shares the information of the Creeds that we already know and that the wife was killed a "second time" but no more information. Did Louis somehow survive? What the hell did those police reports say? There's just enough to go on that gets my imagination going but not so much so that stops it in its tracks.