Pet Sematary II

Pet Sematary II ★★★

For much of its duration, this feels more like a remake than a sequel, hitting many of the same story beats as the original. So, a new professional man (this time a vet) brings his kid to the town of Ludlow, where he learns bit by bit that there's an Indian burial ground nearby that has the power to resurrect dead things. It's a bit annoying, because sequels are able to treat the basic premise as read, and shouldn't have to waste most of their first half setting everything up again. Unusually for a horror sequel, original director Mary Lambert returns, and again that's a shame, because horror sequels thrive when they do things differently each time, whereas she brings the sort of tonal consistency that, say, The Godfather Part II demanded, but Pet Sematary II really doesn't. Still, the hulking Clancy Brown is horribly good fun as the nasty cop who gets killed by a zombie dog, and brought back as an even nastier zombie cop; he's like the opposite of Fred Gwynne's gentle giant in the first film - that guy would never have suddenly slaughtered and skinned dozens of cute bunny rabbits in one brilliantly cruel scene! It's the occasional shocking moment like that that makes this a marginally better movie than the original, but plotwise it's a little too tasteful and predictable to ever really catch light.