October is the perfect time for spooky movies, especially ones that are adapted from Stephen King novels, but it sounds like the upcoming Pet Sematary: Bloodlines is one that you’ll want to avoid. The film, which is coming to Paramount+ on Friday, is getting absolutely blasted by critics with a current aggregate 22% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While the 2019 film got mixed reviews, it sounds like this might be the end of Pet Sematary adaptations for the foreseeable future.
“‘Who asked for this?’ is the question such projects invoke, and Lindsey Anderson Beer’s film never comes up with a satisfying answer.”-Variety’s Michael Nordine
Meagan Navarro from Bloody Disgusting said about the film, “It’s a prequel that doesn’t care for tidy canon; the aim is to use these familiar characters and the setting to induce scares,” adding, “It’s not helped by editing that feels like much of this choppy story was left on the editing room floor.”
It sounds like this Stephen King Pet Sematary prequel plays a little too fast and loose with the source material based on what Navarro had to say about it. It’s also never a good sign when the story is criticized for being choppy or seeming unfinished.
Michael Nordine from Variety said, “‘Who asked for this?’ is the question such projects invoke, and Lindsey Anderson Beer’s film never comes up with a satisfying answer.”
Nordine makes a good point that a prequel to Stephen King’s Pet Sematary isn’t something that many people would necessarily clamor for, so a mediocre or outright bad film makes the production of Bloodlines even more confusing.
In 2019, there was an adaption of Stephen King’s 1983 novel Pet Sematary that ended up being a commercial success despite mixed reviews. So, the money might have inspired the studios to green-light another film, but a prequel is certainly a strange direction to go. Especially since the film takes place 50 years before the original, with only one character making a return.
The Stephen King prequel Pet Sematary: Bloodlines takes place in 1969, 50 years before the events of the previous film, and follows a young Jud Crandall as he discovers a cemetery where the dead can be resurrected.
Reviewers have panned the prequel film Pet Sematary: Bloodlines, resulting in a dismal 22 percent critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
The movie stars Jackson White, Forrest Goodluck, Jack Mulhern, Henry Thomas, Natalie Alyn Lind, Isabella Star LaBlanc, Samantha Mathis, Pam Grier, and David Duchovny. The film is Lindsey Anderson Beer’s directorial debut, and she co-wrote the script with Jeff Buhler.
Stephen King isn’t shy about saying when he doesn’t like a film adaptation of his work (with his critique of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining being a notable example). It’ll be interesting to see if King takes to his socials to express similar opinions as the critics on Pet Sematary: Bloodlines. Then again, there are so many adaptations of King’s works that he probably can’t take the time to watch all of them.
“It’s a prequel that doesn’t care for tidy canon; the aim is to use these familiar characters and the setting to induce scares. It’s not helped by editing that feels like much of this choppy story was left on the editing room floor.”-Bloody Disgusting’s Meagan Navarro
Plus, unlike the previous Pet Sematary films, this film seems to be going in its own direction and doesn’t directly adapt a Stephen King novel. The film attempts to expand the world and mythology of the previous films and the novel, but it appears that it failed in its mission if the critics are to be believed. On the bright side, there will be plenty of other King adaptations in the near future that will hopefully be better quality.
It’s worth keeping in mind that audiences don’t always agree with critics, so it’s possible that this Stephen King prequel could still get good reviews. We’ll have to just wait and see when the film releases on Friday to see what everyone else thinks. If you’re interested in checking it out, it will be on Paramount+.