Made solely to cash in on the surprise box office success of its predecessor, Pet Sematary Two is very much its own entity. Unlike 1983’s Pet Sematary and it’s 2019 remake, Pet Sematary Two is not based on a Stephen King novel, nor does the film have Mr. King’s endorsement. Mary Lambert did return to the director ‘s seat, but without King’s story to draw from, Lambert could do little to save this ineffective horror tale.
After 14-year-old Jeff Matthews’ (Edward Furlong) movie star mother (Darlanne Fluegel) dies in a bizarre accident on a movie set, his dad Chase (Anthony Edwards), a veterinarian, decides the two of them can make a fresh start in Renee’s hometown of Ludlow, Maine. Bitter and withdrawn, Jeff isn’t excited about the move. He quickly catches the eye of class bully Clyde (Jared Rushton), but he also finds a friend in Drew Gilbert (Jason McGuire) A chubby kid, Drew suffers abuse at the hands of his stepfather Gus (Clancy Brown) who also happens to be the town sheriff. The torment increases once Gus shoots Drew’s beloved dog, Zowie.
Drew and Jeff decide to bury Zowie in the “pet Sematary.” (Why hasn’t the town gotten rid of this place? Just bulldozed over it? Do they secretly want to keep it? There’s no explanation.) it’s barely even hinted, thus a gaping plot hole. Like the cat in the original film, the dog returns as the loving pet and quickly becomes a rabid monster who turns on his loyal master. When Gus is killed by the newly revived Zowie and returns after being buried, the stepfather from hell is now truly sadistic. Subtlety is out the window, from the murdering of Jeff’s bully with a motorcycle to the massacre of his pet rabbits, there’s a real mean streak here. The killing of the rabbits has always felt gratuitous to me.
Pet Sematary Two is a sequel that never should have been made, since the original never required a follow-up to begin with. Director Mary Lambert follows up her original with a sequel that has a disturbing mean streak and what some may see as gratuitous animal cruelty. Kudos to Clancy Brown though, he brings dark energy and belief to his role as Gus.
Presented in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio, Scream Factory’s 1080p presentation is a strong one. Sharpness is good throughout, with just a few moments of softness apparent. Given the nice, natural layer of grain, digital noise reduction didn’t appear to be an issue. The image lacks any apparent defects and looks clean throughout. Color reproduction is vivid, and blacks are inky. Overall, the transfer is pleasing.
The DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack offers an appropriately creepy atmosphere. It’s plenty loud throughout, yet exhibit nuances between the score, effects and dialogue. Surround sound opens up well, particularly in scenes of terror and violence. Music sounds rich and full. Dialogue is clean, clear and concise.
English SDH subtitles are included.
The following extras are available:
- Audio Commentary with Director Mary Lambert: In this running, screen-specific commentary, Lambert discusses the project’s development, story, characters, cast, performances, location and more.
- Interview with Edward Furlong (HD, 13:32) The actor is upbeat recalling wanting to do Pet Sematary Two because he’s a fan of the horror genre. Furlong shares some memories of the shoot and looks back at how he became an actor.
- Interview with Clancy Brown (HD, 21:00) Brown discusses his career and reflects on his experiences working on Pet Sematary Two. He loved the campiness of the film.
- Interview with Jason McGuire (HD, 24:23) The actor recalls working on the film. He discusses the audition process and his awe at working with Clancy Brown and Anthony Edwards.
- Interview with Special Effects Artist Steve Johnson (HD, 15:51) Always a good interview, Johnson reflects on his career, with particular focus on Pet Sematary Two.
- Interview with Composer Mark Governor (HD, 29:32) Governor discusses his interest in music and his work on Pet Sematary Two.
- Theatrical Trailer (HD, 1:33)
Pet Semetary Two (1992)
Movie title: Pet Semetary Two
Duration: 100 min
Director(s): Mary Lambert
Actor(s): Edward Furlong, Anthony Edwards, Clancy Brown, Jared Rushton, Darlanne Fluegel , Jason McGuire
Genre: Horror, Thriller