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Pet Sematary (sometimes referred to as Stephen King's Pet Sematary) is a 1989 horror film adaptation of Stephen King's novel of the same name. Directed by Mary Lambert and written by King, the film features Dale Midkiff as Louis Creed, Denise Crosby as Rachel Creed, Blaze Berdahl as Ellie Creed, Miko Hughes as Gage Creed, and Fred Gwynne as Jud Crandall. Andrew Hubatsek was cast for Zelda's role.
A sequel, Pet Sematary Two, was released which was met with less financial and critical success.
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The Creed family moves into a new home, close to a road where high-speed truckers often carelessly drive by. They befriend their neighbor, Jud Crandall (Fred Gwynne), who tells them about a pet cemetery nearby.
Later Louis Creed (Dale Midkiff), working at the University of Maine at Orono hospital, treats a car accident victim named Victor Pascow (Brad Greenquist), who dies on the operating table, but not before suddenly grabbing Louis and whispering a mysterious and cryptic message to him just before expiring. That night, in what is seemingly a dream, Victor visits Louis in his sleep, warning him about the burial ground. Louis wakes up to find his feet covered in dirt.
Church, a British Shorthair cat owned by Louis's daughter Ellie (Blaze Berdahl), is run over by a truck on the road in front of their house while Rachel, Ellie, and Gage are in Chicago. Jud takes Louis to a burial ground beyond the pet cemetery they visited earlier. He buries the cat underneath a cairn. Church is brought back to life, but is an evil shell of himself; he attacks Louis and reeks of decomposition. Jud tells Louis about the grounds. Louis asks if a person was ever buried in the grounds.
Sometime later, Louis's young son, Gage (Miko Hughes), is tragically run over by a truck on the same road during a picnic and is killed. Louis considers burying Gage in the burial grounds. Jud tries to dissuade him from doing so, telling him about a young man from town, Timmy Baterman, who died in service during World War II. His father, Bill, placed his son's corpse into the Micmac burial ground, only to have it reanimate and terrify the townsfolk. Jud and three of his friends tried to burn down the house with the son in it, but Bill was attacked by Timmy, both perishing in the fire. Jud believes that the place made Gage die because he introduced Louis to it. Jud concludes by saying "Sometimes dead is better."
Ellie and Rachel travel to Chicago, but Ellie is reluctant, as she had a bad dream about her father, Gage and Pascow. She begs Louis to go with them, but he declines. Louis heads to the cemetery Gage is buried in, intending to exhume his son's body. He is met at the graveyard by Victor, who tells him the barrier was not meant to be crossed, and that the ground is sour.
In Chicago Ellie has a nightmare, stating that Victor warned her that Louis is going to do something really bad, and that he is trying to help because Louis tried to save his life. Rachel, with a little help from Victor, whose spirit is still inside the house, realizes who her daughter is talking about and calls Jud after Louis does not answer the phone. She asks if he has seen Louis, and then tells him she is returning. He warns her not to, but she has already hung up.
Louis digs up Gage's body, taking his son's corpse to the burial ground. Victor's spirit once again tries to stop Louis, but he buries Gage at the Micmac grounds. Louis returns home, exhausted from his activities. Gage later arrives and enters his father's room, removing a scalpel from one of his bags. He heads for Jud's house, and slices Jud's Achilles tendon, slashes his mouth, and rips his throat out, while Church watches.
Rachel arrives home, hearing something that sounds like her late sister, Zelda (Andrew Hubatsek), calling her name, then Gage's laughter. She enters Jud's house to find Gage, dressed in one of Jud's old hats and one of his canes. He tells her he brought her something, and shows her Louis's scalpel. Thinking nothing of it, Rachel hugs her son in disbelief, and is stabbed presumably through the eye.
Louis wakes up to find Gage's muddy footprints on the floor, his doctor's bag opened and his scalpel gone. He receives a call from Gage saying, "Come play with me daddy! First I played with Jud, and then I played with mommy. We had an awful good time. Now I want to play with YOU."
Preparing shots of morphine, Louis heads to Jud's house, running into Church once more. He distracts the cat with a raw steak, then gives him a shot of morphine, killing the cat almost instantaneously. He heads into the house, once more taunted by Gage, and prepares the second shot of morphine. Louis searches the house only to have Rachel's corpse fall from the attic, hung by her neck. Gage leaps from the attic door, biting and stabbing Louis. Finally getting his reanimated son off him, Louis grabs a morphine shot. Gage heads for him again, scalpel in hand, but Louis injects the boy with the shot. Gage walks away muttering, "No fair", until he slumps against a wall, dead. Louis soaks the house in kerosene and sets it on fire, carrying his wife's body out. Victor watches, knowing what he is doing, and tells Louis he is sorry, and not to bury Rachel in the same place. The now-insane Louis replies that he waited too long with Gage, and that it will work with his wife because she just died.
Louis plays solitaire at home while he waits. At midnight, an undead Rachel comes through the kitchen door, walking towards her husband. She coos, "Darling..." and the two embrace, kissing. Rachel reaches for a knife on the kitchen table and grabs it slowly. The screen blacks out as Louis screams.