PET SEMATARY: BLOODLINES on Paramount+ is a prequel to the iconic horror story by Stephen King. This time, the story plays out in 1969 and offers more insight, but could’ve gone deeper. Still, it’s a good overall horror movie. Read our Pet Sematary: Bloodlines movie review here!
PET SEMATARY: BLOODLINES is a new Paramount+ movie. As revealed by the title, this movie is part of the Pet Sematary universe based on the novel by iconic horror author Stephen King. The actual story from the novel has already been adapted (more than once), so it makes perfect sense to go further back and offer us all some more insight into what happened in Ludlow.
For this Pet Sematary prequel, we get a stellar cast and a story that hooks you straight away. I was never really irritated or bored, which is very good in itself, but I did wish it had been a bit longer. Mostly because I wanted to know even more about these characters. Still, it takes nothing away from me wanting to recommend that you check it out.
Continue reading our Pet Sematary: Bloodlines movie review below. Find it on Paramount+ from October 6, 2023.
What happened in Ludlow?
Pet Sematary: Bloodlines really is all about figuring out what happened in Ludlow. However, I’m sorry to say that ultimately, we don’t get much deeper than in the previous Pet Sematary movies. Sure, we get an idea of how the town of Ludlow was founded. And also why the same families seem to stay there. Still, that doesn’t give you that much more insight.
The story takes place in 1969 when a young Jud Crandall is getting ready to leave his hometown of Ludlow, Maine behind. Very much supported by his parents, though his mother fears she’ll never see him much again.
Before he actually gets a chance to leave, he discovers a sinister secret buried in his hometown. One that has to do with his own family (and others living in Ludlow). Discovering these secrets makes Jud and his childhood friends join forces – well, to a point, anyway – as they fight back against the ancient evil of Ludlow.
We see a new generation of Ludlow explore the origins of how death became different in their small town. As always, everyone also needs to come to the realization that “Sometimes dead is better”. Something anyone who has watched (or read) Pet Sematary will already know!
Going back and adding a star-studded cast
Doing a prequel and going back in time, is hardly a new idea in horror franchises. One recent example is Leatherface which was prequel to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. While I didn’t love that prequel, I much preferred it to the 2022 requel [reboot sequel hybrid].
As an overall horror movie, I think this Pet Sematary prequel, which focuses on the families that founded the town of Ludlow, is much stronger. However, I do wish it had gone deeper into the story and its characters. Perhaps even more so due to the amazing actors portraying characters with very little screen time.
I mean, we have Samantha Mathis (The Clovehitch Killer), Pam Grier (Jackie Brown), David Duchovny (The Craft: Legacy, The X Files), and Henry Thomas (Midnight Mass, Doctor Sleep) in the cast. Of these four, only Henry Thomas gets enough screen time for it to make sense.
Of course, this is ultimately a story that focuses on a young Jud Crandall, who is the older man in the actual main Pet Sematary movie. Henry Thomas plays the role of Jud Crandall’s father. The character of Jud Crandall is portrayed by Jackson White (Tell Me Lies, Mrs. Fletcher) who does a really good job of portraying someone who truly has their heart in the right place.
His friends are portrayed by several other familiar names and faces. These include Forrest Goodluck (Blood Quantum, The Revenant) and Jack Mulhern (Painkiller, Mare of Easttown). His girlfriend is also portrayed by a familiar face as it’s Natalie Alyn Lind who has been in several genre series already – from Daybreak to The Gifted.
Watch Pet Sematary: Bloodlines on Paramount+
Pet Sematary: Bloodlines comes from director Lindsey Anderson Beer, who also took part in creating the story with screenwriter Jeff Buhler (obviously based on Stephen King’s book). This is the feature film debut of Lindsey Anderson Beer who previously wrote and produced the Netflix movie Sierra Burgess Is a Loser.
Jeff Buhler has written the screenplay for several horror movies in the past – including the 2019 remake of Pet Sematary. His screenwriter debut was the 2008 movie The Midnight Meat Train which was based on the Clive Barker short story of the same name. Also, Jeff Buhler wrote the original screenplay for the horror movie The Prodigy (2019).
This new Pet Sematary prequel has a runtime of just 87 minutes and celebrates its world premiere at Fantastic Fest 2023 in Austin, Texas. For fans of the Stephen King story, there is more of what you’d expect, but this one also touches on some other issues relevant to the 1969 setting. Overall, a good strong, and entertaining horror movie. Do check it out!
Pet Sematary: Bloodlines premieres exclusively on Paramount+ on October 6, 2023.
Director: Lindsey Anderson Beer
Writers (Screenplay): Lindsey Anderson Beer and Jeff Buhler
Cast: Jackson White, Forrest Goodluck, Jack Mulhern, Henry Thomas, Natalie Alyn Lind, Isabella Star LaBlanc, Samantha Mathis, Pam Grier, David Duchovny
In 1969, a young Jud Crandall has dreams of leaving his hometown of Ludlow, Maine behind, but soon discovers sinister secrets buried within and is forced to confront a dark family history that will forever keep him connected to Ludlow. Banding together, Jud and his childhood friends must fight an ancient evil that has gripped Ludlow since its founding, and once unearthed has the power to destroy everything in its path.