Pet Sematary II

Pet Sematary II ★★½

The world's cutest opossum is shivering on a stump in a made-up burial ground beyond which the dead shall rise! Who will help this opossum? Poor chilly opossum! Edward Furlong is consumed with grouchiness and surliness. He will not help the opossum! But his kitten may have met a horrid end! This is maybe the mostest of the grunge-era teen horror films. Everything is run-down and dirty and disused. If something can be rusty, it is rusty. Or scored, or marked with surly teen graffiti. No one looks happy. If they start to look happy, someone shoots them an ugly glare and they stop. The realness just won't stop. It can't stop. It will not stop. 'Pet Sematary II' starts with an awesome Hammer Gothic fakeout, then brings the realness and later the angsty teenage boys, but also Anthony Edwards, as angst-vet and Clancy Brown as angst-sheriff. None of them are as deeply pissed as Edward Furlong, who can see his future from 1992 and it is making his day bad. Q: 'How was school today?' A: 'It Sucked!' What kind of sheriff has to lock up dangerous rabbits in an electrified hutch? Sheriff Clancy Brown, that's who. The kind of unpleasant sheriff who shoots his kid's dog for investigating the electrified rabbit hutch. The kind of kid's dog that in the context of this movie, looks only mildly perturbed at dying from a gunshot wound, wondering when it can leave the set of 'Pet Sematary II'. The second half of 'Pet Sematary II' picks up with more intentional, if tasteless and possibly ill-advised, Grand Guignol black humor. There is a tone of sustained, grouchy, unpleasant idiocy that works in ways not frequently seen in horror movies. No matter how jaded or wide-ranging a horror-fan you are, there are probably at least two or three things in 'Pet Sematary II' that will probably seem surprising and unexpected, if not always welcome or necessary. It also answers the question of what are people like when you bring them back from the dead? The answer is: they are complete jerks to everyone around them, which begs the question as to why it became a thing to do in the first place, let alone a local tradition. You know how they say history repeats itself: first time as tragedy, the second time as farce? Well, it might not be true for all horror sequels, but it is true for 'Pet Sematary II', wherein the original got buried up the hill and came back all wrong.

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