After the success of Mary Lambert’s adaptation of Stephen King’s “Pet Sematary,” Paramount sought out to deliver a sequel, despite the original leaving no room for one. Every single character died in the first movie, and no one is really the wiser about the whole zombie shenanigans that ensued in the climax. Lo and behold though, Paramount delivers on a sequel that centers on a whole new series of characters, all of whom are somehow obsessed with the mythical Native American burial ground tucked behind a seemingly harmless Pet Sematary.
After witnessing the electrocution death of his mother, beloved movie star Renee (Darlanne Fluegel), teen Jeff (Edward Furlong) joins his father, veterinarian Chase (Anthony Edwards), in Ludlow, Maine, to help settle his grief. Jeff befriends Drew (Jason McGuire), an angry kid pressured by his cruel stepfather, Gus (Clancy Brown), the town sheriff. When Drew’s beloved dog is shot by Gus, Drew buries it in the Native American burial ground that can bring back the dead. The only drawback is everyone buried returns with slightly demonic traits. When Gus is murdered by Drew’s dog and is buried, he returns prepared to wreak havoc.
Lambert returns for what is a nasty and often silly horror sequel that uses the pet sematary for a lot of sadistic plot devices that never go anywhere. The whole film is an ugly mess that occasionally dabbles in dark comedy and never touches the idea of grief as the original film did. The whole concept of the shining and Wendigo are also side stepped in favor of gruesome violence, a narrative that feels paper thin, and half baked sub-plots (the romance plot with Marjorie, the housekeeper is inexplicably ignored for the second half of the movie). On the bright side, Lambert allows Clancy Brown to chew the scenery as the film’s obligatory villain. Lambert tries her best to keep in step with King’s original work, but fails, providing a tonally uneven and abysmal follow up that never takes the chance to offer some answers about the Pet Sematary.
The Collector’s Edition from Shout! Factory comes with a commentary from director Mary Lambert. There’s the thirteen minutes Young and Brooding, an interview with Edward Furlong, who discusses working on “Terminator 2,” his initial hiring from a casting agent, and his work in “Pet Sematary 2.” Playing Over the Top is a twenty one minute conversation with actor Clancy Brown, who recalls his Midwestern upbringing, with stage work evolving into movie jobs, beginning with 1983’s “Bad Boys.” Brown also discusses “Pet Sematary 2” and his work as the film’s villain.
My First Film is a twenty four minute interview with Jason McGuire, who portrays young Drew in “Pet Sematary Two.” McGuire discusses acting interests as a child, winning an audition for the horror sequel, which turned into his first professional job, as well as his memories on the set, and why he ultimately stopped acting. A Thousand Dollar Bet is a fifteen minutes sit down with special makeup effects creator Steve Johnson, who shares his love of Stephen King, discusses his understanding why the author took his name off of “Pet Sematary Two.” He also talks about simultaneously working on “Freaked,” “Innocent Blood,” and “Pet Sematary Two,” and much more. Orchestrated Grunge is a twenty nine minutes discussion of the score of “Pet Sematary Two” with composer Mark Governor, and finally there’s the original theatrical trailer.