I was genuinely eager to embrace Pet Sematary: Bloodlines on Paramount+ as a devoted horror enthusiast. The original Pet Sematary tale penned by Stephen King has always held a special place in my heart, brimming with excitement and boundless imagination. However, my anticipation was met with profound disappointment when I experienced Pet Sematary: Bloodlines. Regrettably, this adaptation falls significantly short of capturing the essence and brilliance of King’s award-winning narrative. It doesn’t even come close to the captivating storytelling that I had hoped for, leaving me disheartened.

Despite my initial enthusiasm and high expectations for this revival, Pet Sematary: Bloodlines failed to do justice to the original source material. Ultimately lacking the profound impact and storytelling finesse that Stephen King’s work is celebrated for.


In Pet Sematary: Bloodlines, the storyline delves into the life of a young Jud Crandall in the year 1969. Initially filled with dreams of leaving his hometown far behind, Jud’s journey takes an ominous turn as he stumbles upon hidden malevolence lurking beneath the surface. Uncovering a dark family history that binds him irrevocably to the town, Jud, along with his childhood friends, embarks on a harrowing quest to confront an ancient evil that has plagued Ludlow since its inception. Once unleashed, this sinister force possesses the terrifying potential to obliterate everything in its inexorable path.

Directed by Lindsey Anderson Beer in her debut directorial role and co-written by Beer and Jeff Buhler, Pet Sematary: Bloodlines serves as a prequel to its 2019 predecessor, itself an adaptation of Stephen King’s 1983 novel of the same name. The film boasts an ensemble cast, including Jackson White, Forrest Goodluck, Jack Mulhern, Henry Thomas, Natalie Alyn Lind, Isabella Star LaBlanc, Samantha Mathis, Pam Grier, and David Duchovny. Set against the backdrop of 1969, a half-century prior to the events in the earlier installment. The narrative uncovers the fateful discovery of a local cemetery where the deceased can return to life, all while Jud Crandall remains blissfully unaware of the horrors that await him.


As I mentioned earlier in this review, my initial hope was to genuinely appreciate Pet Sematary: Bloodlines. However, the film attempted to juggle too many elements simultaneously. While it aimed to serve as a prequel, it frequently hopped between different time periods in the quaint town of Ludlow. Characters appeared seemingly out of nowhere, contributing to a disjointed viewing experience. While I understand the intention behind exploring Ludlow’s eerie history through temporal shifts, it ultimately felt disconnected from the film’s core narrative. As the story unfolded, it became increasingly challenging to follow. With its plot meandering in various directions, not even the exceptional cast could salvage the mess that had ensued.

Despite my initial optimism, Pet Sematary: Bloodlines struggled to strike a coherent balance between its ambitious storytelling elements, leading to a disjointed and perplexing viewing experience. The film’s scattered chronology and the introduction of characters without proper context only added to the overall confusion, making it increasingly difficult to remain engaged as the story progressed. Even David Duchovny couldn’t rescue the film from its narrative quagmire.


As someone who appreciates the thrill of a good scare and expertly crafted gore in horror movies, I found myself somewhat disappointed by the way these elements were handled in Pet Sematary: Bloodlines. It seemed as though the filmmakers had already invested in the services of a special effects artist, leading to the inclusion of jump scares and graphic scenes of gore that felt somewhat forced within the film’s context. Regrettably, these elements didn’t contribute to the film’s excitement or overall coherence. Instead, they leave viewers wondering about the purpose behind the gratuitous displays of blood and sudden jump scares.

While I’m certainly no stranger to the power of well-executed horror techniques, Pet Sematary: Bloodlines struggled to effectively integrate these elements into its storyline, ultimately detracting from the film’s overall impact. The presence of gore and jump scares appeared more as an afterthought than an integral part of the narrative, leaving audiences questioning their relevance and detracting from the film’s ability to engage and thrill.


Unfortunately, Pet Sematary: Bloodlines left me thoroughly disappointed, emerging as a convoluted and chaotic cinematic endeavor. Frankly, it’s difficult to envision any justification for the creation of another installment in this series. The film’s reliance on jump scares and gore to salvage what was often a bewildering narrative fell far short of redemption. The disjointed storyline, riddled with inconsistencies, remained impervious to the valiant efforts of its exceptionally talented cast. Not even David Duchovny could breathe life into this lackluster cinematic experience! My recommendation, if you seek a satisfying encounter with the Pet Sematary universe, would be to revisit the 1989 original and simply pretend that Pet Sematary: Bloodlines never came to fruition.

You can see for yourself as Paramount+ has released Pet Sematary: Bloodlines on their streaming platform on October 6, 2023.

‘Pet Sematary: Bloodlines’. Paramount+ Original Movie

Meanwhile, for more reviews, make sure to check back to That Hashtag Show. Plus, dive into all things horror as we celebrate Fright-A-Thon.