After relocating with his wife Rachel (Amy Seimetz) and their two young children from Boston to rural Maine, Dr. Louis Creed (Jason Clarke) discovers a mysterious burial ground hidden deep in the woods near the family’s new home. When tragedy strikes, Louis turns to his unusual neighbor, Jud Crandall (John Lithgow), setting off a perilous chain reaction that unleashes an unfathomable evil with horrific consequences.
Plot: Dr. Louis Creed and his wife, Rachel, relocate from Boston to rural Maine with their two young children. The couple soon discover a mysterious burial ground hidden deep in the woods near their new home.
Director: Kevin Kölsch, Dennis Widmyer
Aspect Ratio: 2.39.1
Runtime: 101 min
Rotten Tomatoes Consensus: Pet Sematary takes its source material in a few different directions, but this remake feels like an exhuming almost as often as it does a revival.
“Sour soil raising Hell for a new generation.”
This movie was shot with Arri Alexa Mini & SXT Plus cameras and finished somewhere between a 2.8k & 3.4k Digital Intermediate, so you will get a bit of an upscaled 4k image for this release. As per the norm with UHD releases, it was also given a HDR color grade for your viewing pleasure in both Dolby Vision and HDR10. When it comes to the grain levels, there’s a light layer present — from there it varies from no grain at all to moderate levels of grain in darker, more atmospheric scenes.
First thing to note is that this is not a razor sharp disc. You will get quite a few scenes where the quality dips in and out. One scene would be pretty sharp and full of detail, while the next shot looked closer to Blu-ray quality. Sometimes the forrest would pop with shades of green, other times (in the same light) it would looked faded. Sounds strange to say, but I was anxious to check out a few scenes on the Blu-ray for comparison, but oddly enough the Blu-ray has the dipping issues too.
It’s almost like the 4K disc goes from UHD to Blu-ray quality and the Blu-ray disc goes from HD to DVD quality. I don’t know if that makes sense at all, or if it was just me. It was weird to the eye.
There were a few things this disc did pretty consistently, and that was great HDR and black levels — worthy of a UHD release.
There are not a lot of close-up’s either — which is something you know UHD thrives in. The only moment you get a good glimpse of this in Chapter 6 when Amy Seimetz is talking about her childhood trauma. Here you will get some of those deep pores, tears, freckles, hair, etc. Not a big highlight UHD wise, but a note.
A scene (at least to me) that really stood out was in Chapter 10 when Jason Clarke and John Lithgow are sitting by the fire. Here you will get all the enhancements UHD brings to the table. The HDR of the fire bouncing off of the characters faces is glowing warm, while solid black levels hold great shadow and contrast — not to mention sharp details like wrinkles, blemishes and beard stubble being more visible, even down to the wool on John’s sweater. Most of this film doesn’t have this type of clarity, but here it does.
Once you get into the 3rd act of the movie, you will start to notice the highlights of this UHD disc, a bump in sharpness, solid black levels and use of HDR. It’s not a top-notch UHD disc, it’s definitely in the zone of a standard-basic disc.
Something that did bother me a few times was the way they interpreted the deep forrest and burial ground on screen. You could tell that they were in-studio, the atmospherics hid it a bit, but the tone shifted once they broke the backyard barrier. Unless it was intentional, it was confusing that they showcased it this way. Maybe they wanted it to be blatantly obvious when they were on sour soil?
Can I recommended this 4K UHD disc? It’s hard to say and this could be hard to follow. If you’re a 4K UHD collector whom loved this new take and the original — pick up a copy. If you’re a 4K UHD collector who’s on the fence about the quality of the movie — wait till Black Friday and grab it at half price. If you buy movies occasionally and you’re on the fence about it — rent it.
As a fan of horror, I will always buy a ticket and support all aspects of the genre — even if it’s a remake. Stephen King movies always draw in the crowds, but also immediately splits them too. I’ve seen very positive remarks like “The directors deliver good suspense sequences, with a sinister atmosphere… and also the classic and simple (but effective) jump scare” while negative ones say “This may look like the same story, but the soul of it is missing-lost on the way out of the ground.” Unfortunately, I’m somewhere in the middle on this one. I can’t exactly put my finger on it. I think the 57% on Rotten Tomatoes explains it because it is somewhere in the middle, — worth a watch if you’re interested, a pass if you’re not.
Side note; this disc also includes an alternate ending, but was it truly? The very first scene tracks a shot of blood leading into their home and as soon as the front door starts to open, BAM! the movie starts. The alternate ending (No Spoilers) picks up from the first scene and tracks all the way into the house for the final shot of the movie. Now that I have watched both, I like the alternate ending better because it gives the whole movie a darker vibe and you feel the outcome more compared to the other. That’s just my take.
As another side note; the movie’s production budget was around $20 million and it made over $112 million at the box office. That doesn’t include upcoming 4K, Blu-ray, DVD purchases & rentals — so it’s not a loss of any sort.
Did you enjoy the movie? Hate it? Who cares? Let me know in the comments below. You can pick this up on July 9th at your local retailer or watch it on Digital today!
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