I have always had a strange relationship with the 1989 film Pet Semetary. It scared the shit out of me as a kid and was one of the first horror flicks that I snuck out to watch with friends. When Zelda started to scream, I may have peed my pants a little. As an adult it still scares me, but now it isn’t Zelda. It is the overall tone, the sweeping sadness and desperation that makes this film special. After having a son of my own, Pet Sematary forces you into the darkest headspace a parent could ever imagine. That said, the newest horror documentary Unearthed & Untold: The Path to Pet Sematary explores the story behind the making of this classic movie. It tells the story from the perspective of both the crew and a cast of interesting locals that give the viewer a detailed account of how and what it took to make the film.
Unearthed & Untold: The Path to Pet Sematary starts with how Stephen King wrote the original story, showing the true life accounts that helped mold the story. Once this has been explained, we catch up with the producers and crew members to breakdown how it was made. The actors account stories and memories of being onset. The film continues to breaks down the minutia and is a great behind-the-scenes for any super fan.
I am a fan of Pet Sematary (as I hope that I made clear earlier), but I quickly learned that I am not a “super-fan”. This film held my attention for the first 45-50 minutes, but my interest began to wain as the interviews continued. The way it is shot is very basic and never changes, equating to talking heads and photographs from when the scene was shot. I appreciate this huge, detailed account but I wish there was something more stylish or cinematic about the documentary. Some small flourishes would go incredibly far to keep the attention of viewers like me. All in all, this is the ultimate “behind-the-scenes” special feature that is geared towards the folks who have enjoyed similar docs like Crystal Lake Memories and Leviathan. While I will not be revisiting this, I hope the effort of the filmmakers to not go unnoticed and this can be included with a new release of Pet Sematary.
Unearthed & Untold: The Path to Pet Sematary is currently available on Amazon Video and other major VOD platforms.