Unearthed & Untold: The Path to Pet Sematary (2017) Review

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Even the titular Pet Sematary itself couldn’t bring this dead horse to life.

Unearthed & Untold: The Path to Pet Sematary: 5 out of 10: A behind the scenes look at the making of the film Pet Sematary with interviews thirty years later from both the cast and crew as well as the locals from the various shooting locations.

The Good: If your name or the name of a family member appears on the credits of Pet Sematary this will be a treat. If you live nearby the filming locations and drive past them daily, you can now rubberneck with your television. If your curious what the actors look like now and don’t have access to Google this film is for you.

The Bad: Pet Semetry is one of my favorite books. Not just Stephen King books mind you but books overall. The movie is … okay. For fans of the movie (and to a lesser extent the book), this film provides dozens of anecdotes and trivia about the filming. The kind of thing you hear at a panel discussion at a second-string Comic Convention. You know “So Gage was thirsty and the second unit director had to stop filming because he was too parched and everyone was scrambling for a water bottle and then Mary Sue remembered she had a water bottle in the cup holder of her Astrovan, and it turns out it that was the first year that they had put cup holders in those vans and she ran and got the water bottle and gave it to the AD which is what we call the Assistant Director who got it to Gage and the scene was saved.”

The filming of Pet Sematary, from what I gather from the dozens of anecdotes of this film, was a reasonably uneventful shoot. Everyone got along, and some locals were hired as extras or to help build props and sets. There is no overall theme; people didn’t realize they were making a film that would shake the foundations of our civilization and most tragically nothing exciting (good or bad) happened.

Now a talented documentary filmmaker can squeeze excitement out of ordinary stories about ordinary lives, but even Errol Morris would have trouble punching up this material.

The Ugly: Guess who doesn’t have the rights to show clips from the movie Pet Sematary? I hope you just saw the film or are some superfan who has every scene memorized cause that will come in handy when trying to make sense of many of the stories.

There is also (despite his name appearing in the credits) a lack of the man himself in the documentary. Stephen King is someone I imagine who could have added an exciting story or two.

In Conclusion: If this were an extra on the Blu-ray release of Pet Sematary I would consider it an above average (if overlong) extra. As a stand-alone documentary, even the titular Pet Sematary itself couldn’t bring this dead horse to life.

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