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Pet Sematary

Theatrical Release Poster
Directed by Mary Lambert
Produced by Richard P. Rubinstein
Written by Stephen King (novel and screenplay)
Starring Dale Midkiff
Fred Gwynne
Denise Crosby
Brad Greenquist
Miko Hughes
Blaze Berdahl
Susan Blommaert
Music by Elliot Goldenthal
Cinematography Peter Stein
Editing by Daniel P. Hanley
Mike Hill
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date(s) April 21, 1989 (USA)
Running time 103 min.
Language English
Budget $11,500,000
Followed by Pet Sematary Two

Pet Sematary (sometimes referred to as Stephen King's Pet Sematary) is a 1989 horror film adaptation of the Stephen King novel of the same name. Directed by Mary Lambert, the film features Dale Midkiff as Louis Creed, Denise Crosby as Rachel Creed, Blaze Berdahl as Ellie Creed, Miko Hughes as Gage Creed, and Fred Gwynne as Jud Crandall. A man, Andrew Hubatsek, was chosen for Zelda's role.

There was a sequel, Pet Sematary 2, which met with less financial and critical success.



The Creed family moves into a new home and befriends their neighbor, Jud Crandall, who tells them about a pet cemetery and the burial grounds nearby. Louis Creed, working at the University of Maine at Orono hospital, is treating a car accident victim named Victor Pascow, who dies on the operating table. That night, in what is seemingly a dream, Pascow visits Louis in his sleep, warning him about the burial ground. Louis wakes up to find his feet covered in dirt.

Church, a cat owned by Louis's daughter Ellie, is run over by a truck on the road in front of their house while the rest of the family is in Chicago. Jud takes Louis to a burial ground beyond the pet sematary they visited earlier. He buries the cat underneath a cairn. Church is brought back to life, but acts differently; he attacks Louis and reeks of decomposition, despite his injuries having healed.

Louis's young son Gage is run over by a truck on the same road during a picnic. Louis considers burying Gage in the burial grounds. Jud tries to dissuade him from doing so, telling him about a young soldier from town, Timmy Baterman, who died in service during World War II. His father, Bill, placed his son's corpse into the Micmac burial ground, only to have it reanimate and terrify the townsfolk. Jud and three of his friends tried to save Bill and burn down the house with the son in it, but Bill was attacked by Timmy, both perishing in the fire. Jud believes that the place made Gage die because he introduced Louis to it. Ellie and Rachel travel to Chicago, but Ellie is reluctant, as she had a bad dream about her father, Gage and Pascow. She pleads for Louis to go with them, but he declines. Louis heads to the cemetery Gage is buried in, intending to exhume his son's body. He is met at the graveyard by Pascow, who tells him the barrier was not meant to be crossed, and that the ground is sour.

In Chicago Ellie has a nightmare, stating that Pascow warned her that Louis is going to do something really bad, and that he is trying to help because Louis tried to save his life. Rachel, with a little help from Pascow, whose spirit is still inside the house, realizes who her daughter is talking about and calls Jud after Louis does not answer the phone. She asks if he has seen Louis, and then tells him she is returning. He warns her not to, but she has already hung up.

Louis digs up Gage's body, taking his son's corpse to the burial ground. Pascow's spirit once again tries to stop Louis, but he buries Gage at the Micmac grounds. Louis returns home, exhausted from his activities. Gage later arrives and enters his father's room, removing a scalpel from one of his bags. He heads for Jud's house, and after playing a game of hide and seek with the old man, slices Jud's Achilles tendon and rips his throat out.

Rachel arrives home, hearing something that sounds like her late sister Zelda calling her name, then Gage's laughter. She enters Jud's house to find Gage, dressed in one of Jud's old hats and one of his canes. He tells her he brought her something, and shows her Louis's scalpel. Thinking nothing of it, Rachel hugs her son in disbelief, and is stabbed through the back.

Louis wakes up to find Gage's muddy footprints on the floor, his doctor's bag opened and his scalpel gone. He receives a call from Gage saying, "Come play with me daddy! First I played with Jud, and then I played with mommy. We had an awful good time. Now I want to play with you." Preparing shots of morphine, Louis heads to Jud's house, running into Church once more. He distracts the cat with a raw steak, then gives him a shot of morphine, the cat dying almost instantaneously. He heads into the house, once more taunted by Gage, and prepares the second shot of Morphine. Louis searches the house only to have Rachel's corpse fall from the attic, hung by her neck. Gage leaps from the attic door, biting and stabbing Louis. Finally getting his reanimated son off him, Louis grabs a morphine shot. Gage heads for him again, scalpel in hand, but Louis injects the boy with the shot. Gage walks away muttering, "No fair", until he slumps against a wall, dead. Louis soaks the house in kerosene and sets it on fire, carrying his wife's body out. Pascow watches, knowing what he is doing, and tells Louis he is sorry, and not to bury Rachel in the same place. The now-insane Louis replies that he waited too long with Gage, and that it will work with his wife because she just died.

Louis plays solitaire at home while he waits. At midnight, Rachel comes through the kitchen door, walking towards her husband. She coos, "Darling..." and the two embrace, kissing. Rachel reaches for a knife on the kitchen table and grabs it slowly. The screen blacks out, and we hear Louis scream.


  • Dale Midkiff as Louis Creed
  • Fred Gwynne as Jud Crandall
  • Denise Crosby as Rachel Creed
  • Brad Greenquist as Victor Pascow
  • Michael Lombard as Irwin Goldman
  • Miko Hughes as Gage Creed
  • Blaze Berdahl as Ellie Creed
  • Susan Blommaert as Missy Dandridge
  • Mara Clark as Marcy Charlton
  • Kavi Raz as Steve Masterton
  • Mary Louise Wilson as Dory Goldman
  • Andrew Hubatsek as Zelda
  • Matthew August Ferrell as Jud as a child
  • Lisa Stathoplos as Jud's mother
  • Stephen King as Minister
  • Elizabeth Ureneck as Rachel as a child
  • Chuck Courtney as Bill Baterman
  • Peter Stader as Timmy Baterman
  • Beau Berdahl as Ellie Creed II


Matthew Greenberg began writing the screenplay for a remake of the film in March 2010.[1] It will be produced by Steven Schneider for Paramount Pictures.[2]


External links

Simple English

Pet Sematary is a 1989 horror film based on the novel by Maine author, Stephen King.

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