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Just How Scary (& Violent) Is Pet Sematary 2019?

Pet Sematary 2019

How scary is the new Pet Sematary movie? Directed by Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer, the horror film has been promised to be the scariest” Stephen King adaption - that's no small task given the films his work has inspired.

Pet Sematary is a modern re-telling of the Creed family’s supernatural experiences. In this tale, Louis (Jason Clarke) and Rachel Creed (Amy Seimetz) move to Ludlow, Maine with their children, Gage (Hugo and Lucas Lavoie) and Ellie (Jeté Laurence). There, the family meets their new neighbor Jud Crandall (John Lithgow), who informs them about the supernatural aspects of “Pet Sematary” and its ability to bring the dead back to life. After a tragedy - one’s that similar yet different from the original 1989 film - the Creed family must cope with reality, and also the past.

Related: Every Stephen King Movie Ranked, From Worst To Best

So, just how scary is the new Pet Sematary? The MPAA has given the new film an R rating (meaning nobody under 17 can see unsupervised) for "horror violence, bloody images, and some language," while the BBFC has given it a 15 rating (meaning nobody under 15 will be admitted) for "strong bloody violence, gore, threat.” But how does that translate to fundamental horror movie scares, and how does Pet Sematary compare to other popular horror movies? Here are the Pet Sematary spoiler-free basics.

How Scary Is Pet Sematary 2019?

Amy Seimetz Pet Sematary

Pet Sematary’s premise deals with dead pets and, eventually, dead children. That in itself should be a warning sign for parents and viewers of age. Beyond that, the directors are on record about their desire to make the scariest Stephen King adaptation, so expect an intense film, especially in the third act.

In terms of the type of horror, Pet Sematary includes both traditional jump scares and graphic gore. Along with the jolts, which are frequent, that's a constant sense of unease from early on, especially with the contorted body of the character Zelda.

The primary villain in the film is supernatural, so while the narrative concepts are universal and relatable (family dynamics, loss, grief), Pet Sematary’s inherent horror is connected directly to supernatural elements. That said it does possess characters who inflict harm upon others.

How Violent Is Pet Sematary 2019?

Pet Semary

Pet Sematary 2019 refrains from graphic detail when a child is killed during a traffic accident. However, the film is undoubtedly bloody and gory: people are stabbed, impaled, and a character’s Achilles tendon receives the close-up treatment when slashed with a blade. 

In addition, Pet Sematary shows a man's exposed brain in gory detail after an accident, along with ripped flesh. Meanwhile, one of the undead characters murders other characters. Unsurprisingly, Pet Sematary also includes images of dead animals. 

The Rest of Pet Sematary’s R Rating: Nudity and Swearing

Pet Sematary

There is strong language in Pet Sematary, including the word “f*ck.”

Pet Sematary doesn’t include any nudity, though the film does have an intimate bedroom moment.

More: Pet Sematary Review: Sometimes Stephen King Movies Are Just Decent

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