Lindsey Anderson Beer’s directorial debut, “Pet Sematary: Bloodlines,” once again underscores the crisis Hollywood faces when dealing with original storytelling. While films like “Smile” or “Barbarian” that introduce fresh concepts enjoy success at the box office, unfortunately, films like “Pet Sematary: Bloodlines” seem doomed to fail. The reason for this failure isn’t merely its attempt to build on an existing story but also how it deviates from the foundational themes.
Let’s briefly discuss the plot: The story unfolds in Ludlow in 1969 and focuses on Jud Crandall and his friends’ struggle against the curse of resurrected beings in the region. However, this time, the returnees are not animals but humans. The story revolves around Timmy Baterman, showcasing how his dark thoughts eventually materialize throughout the narrative.
I will approach the story with a straightforward perspective. Personally, I find it disconcerting and ultimately unsuccessful when sequels to stories with a defined structure deviate from their established path. “Pet Sematary” was originally a story about pets buried in an ancient burial ground belonging to the natives. When family pets returned from the grave, they were no longer friendly and attacked their owners. Stephen King’s story essentially served as a cautionary tale about the consequences of disturbing the cycle of life. However, “Pet Sematary: Bloodlines” disrupts the essence of the story by introducing humans.
In his book, Stephen King used Timmy Baterman’s story to reinforce the reality of the burial ground, emphasizing that it was genuinely cursed and had a way of bringing the dead back.
“Timmy Baterman was like that, Louis, like a zombie in a movie, but he wasn’t.”
Lindsey Anderson Beer takes the story of Timmy Batterman, a tale from the book, and constructs a narrative around it. However, the film doesn’t even start the story with Timmy’s return. It thrusts us into the middle of everything. It not only attributes the eerie behavior to Timmy, but also connects it to others gradually turning into zombies. By shifting the focus from animals to humans in a story inherently related to animals, the film, at least for me, undermines itself right from the beginning.
Furthermore, the film fails to offer any innovations to the audience. Since we already know the mystery behind the story, we are not treated to any surprising details in the narrative. There’s no escalating excitement or a plot twist that leaves us startled at the end. The film follows a straightforward, predictable storyline from start to finish.
In conclusion, “Pet Sematary: Bloodlines” is a weak and uninspiring film that adds nothing new to the original story. Lindsey Anderson Beer’s attempt to extract a narrative from Stephen King’s original tale using Timmy Batterman has resulted in a subpar film that is unlikely to be remembered in the future.
Cast & Crew
director: Lindsey Anderson Beer
writers: Lindsey Anderson Beer, Jeff Buhler, Stephen King (based on the novel “Pet Sematary” by)
starring: Jackson White, David Duchovny, Jack Mulhern, Natalie Alyn Lind, Forrest Goodluck, Isabella LaBlanc
USA – CANADA | 2023 | 87 MINUTES |