Friday, February 21, 2014

Pet Sematary by Stephen King

"A classic" can mean different things to different people. Typically when we think of "classics" we think of The Grapes of Wrath or To Kill a Mockingbird. However, when you grow up in a household with parents who love all things horror - movies, books, and the like - Pet Sematary is most definitely a classic.

The first movie I ever saw as a child was Pet Sematary. Granted, I was too little to remember. But my parents are a.) very liberal and b.) would never pass up a new Stephen King movie. They belonged to the Stephen King Book-a-Month club and when we lived in Maine, my mother once had us sit in a car outside his home hoping to catch a glimpse. Recently, I decided to take a stroll down memory and reread (or read some for the first time) King's entire literary collection, beginning with Pet Sematary.

For those who may have never read the story or seen the movie, or perhaps also need a refresher and a stroll down memory lane, Louis Creed moves his family to a beautiful, idyllic home in Maine. Everything about their home is perfect with the exception of a busy highway road that runs directly in front of the house. While his wife Rachel is visiting her parents for Thanksgiving, with their two children Ellie and Gage, the family cat Church (short for Winston Churchill) is struck by a car and killed. The neighbor, Judd, shows Louis an old Native American burial ground, upon which beings that are buried in the stony ground return to life. Yet, when the beings come back to life, they are not quite the same. "Sometimes, dead is better."

Then, the unthinkable happens. Young Gage dies after being struck by a truck on the major highway, and Louis makes a grizzly decision. What follows is what many describe as King's most terrifying story. His tale is unceasingly heart wrenching and horrific - one you can't put down. King is wildly adept at language, a true testament to his longevity as a writer. His ability to make you question your own morals is exactly what it is supposed to be - scary.

For more classics from this master of horror, you might try The Shining and his newest venture, featuring Danny from The Shining, Doctor Sleep.

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