A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Characters try to be smart and stay alive.
Positive Role Models
Teens drink and smoke weed.
Diversity in supporting cast. Native American brother and sister emerge as developed characters, avoiding stereotypes. The first moment of a possible killing in this horror movie centers on a scene with an African American woman -- she is attacked by a dog but fights it off and kills it -- a nod to the horror movie cliche of people of color always being among the first to be killed off in horror movies.
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Violence & Scariness
Bloody imagery. Jump scares. Stabbing death. Dog attack results in graphic bloody arm of victim. A character is choked to death by a crutch. Dead animal entrails. In a flashback scene, a colonist is shown eating dead bodies. Blood splatter. A second dog attack results in the victim's face covered in claw marks. Reference to suicide. Skin ripped off fingers and feet.
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Strong language throughout: "f--k," "s--t," "bulls--t," "piss," "goddamn," "hell." Middle finger gesture.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Teens smoke marijuana. Flask drinking. Cigarette smoking. Lead characters visit a priest who is drunk on wine. Brief flashback scenes show young teens drinking beer in a basement.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Pet Sematary: Bloodlines is a 2023 horror movie in which a young man and his friends must confront an evil that has existed in their town for centuries. It's a prequel to Pet Sematary, the book by Stephen King that was adapted into a movie in 1989, and it more or less can stand on its own without being overly familiar with the original book and/or movie. Expect horror movie violence and gore, including a flashback scene in which a man is shown eating the flesh of dead bodies. Characters are stabbed to death and choked to death with a crutch. Dead animal entrails; blood. Blood splatter. Jump scares. A vicious dog attack sends a character to the hospital; scratches on the face of another. Reference to suicide. Skin ripped off from fingers and feet. Language throughout, including "f--k." Flask drinking. Priest drunk on wine in church. In flashback scenes, teens drink beer in a basement. Teens smoke weed. Cigarette smoking. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This is an unremarkable and unnecessary prequel. Pet Sematary: Bloodlines sets the action in 1969 amidst a backdrop of restless youth trying to escape their rural Maine hometown only to find that their hometown and its sinister past have other plans. It more or less sticks to a tried-and-true formula of both horror movie cliches of jump scares and undead prone to really loud cracking of their necks as they turn their head from side to side upon every entrance into a scene, and the ‘60s cliches of obligatory CCR songs, muscle cars, and bitter rednecks who don't take too kindly to longhairs joining the Peace Corps.
The acting is mostly flat, and the attempts to convey the depths of the relationships to the main characters tend to come through in very brief flashback scenes of young teens sneaking beers in a basement. As movies based on or inspired by the worlds and characters depicted in Stephen King's vast bibliography, it's by no means the worst, but it's also nowhere near the best.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.