18. Pet Sematary (1989)

Stephen King adaptations are a bit hit and miss, but Pet Sematary definitely falls into the former category. The novel on which it’s based is one of King’s more humorous efforts – that’s not to say it’s light-hearted, dealing as it does with the death of a small child, but it’s written with a mad relish that translates well to the screen. It starts off with one of my favourite horror premises – urban family moves into a spooky rural home with high hopes of a peaceful new life – and unravels with great pace and economy from that point on. I won’t give the game away too much; let’s just say that it ticks all the right boxes with sexually attractive lead man (Dale Midkiff, who obligingly takes baths at moments of stress), a demonic kiddie100812-pet-sematary, a sinister family pet and a central bit of hokum about Indian burial grounds. Fred Gwynne, alias Hermann Munster, is excellent as the oddball neighbour, and there’s a real sense of threat conveyed through mundane things like passing traffic, scrubby woodlands etc. Also, there’s a theme song by the Ramones.


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