Blood Capsule #21


I didn't go gaga over 1989's Pet Sematary, but I recognize it as an above-average gallimaufry of heartfelt spooks.  This dropsical sequel exchanges heart for...more spooks.  Director Mary Lambert returns with a fistful of dollars, and most of that coinage goes to expert animal trainers and exaggerated gore effects.  Her music video background comes in handy.  There are scads of arresting visuals and ingenious camera tricks.  I'm not saying that the script is completely devoid of merit.  I wanted to warm up to Jeff, a pensive teen who witnesses the tragic death of his celebrity mother on the set of a horror film.  Unfortunately, early 90's go-to child actor Edward Furlong isn't given much to work with.  I'm a fan (Brainscan fucking rules), but here, he is elbowed into turning in a humdrum performance.

The rest of the cast is willing and able.  Clancy Brown has fun hamming it up as a prick stepfather sheriff (the worst kind of sheriff).  Character-wise, the side players are relegated to "stereotype" status.  The bullies are so paper-thin, that Roger Klotz wouldn't even associate with them.  Yeah, I went there.  Maybe it was my nervous stomach (it turns out that Calabash shrimp and strawberry-flavored marshmallows don't mix) or the off-putting cuddly critter violence (fake, yet eerily realistic), but I couldn't wait for Pet Sematary II to end.  It didn't help matters that the damn thing was never in a hurry to resolve itself.  'Tis definitely watchable.  However, there are better ways to get your Furlong fix.

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