YMMV / Pet Sematary

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: At the very end when Louis buries Rachel in the burial ground, is it simply a case of him being driven mad with grief, leading to him repeating his mistakes all over again? Or deep down, does a part of him know that Rachel will simply become a murderous abomination just like Church and Gage did, and is doing it to get her to kill him in some sort of penance for what his actions resulted in, performing a sort of Suicide by Cop if you will? Also, is Louis actually in control of his actions, or did he just break and became an empty shell, moved by whatever lives in the burial ground?
    • More likely the latter, as he's outright stated to be insane.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: Louis is carrying Gage's body to the Indian burial ground and hallucinates that a mound of rocks turns into an angry face that screams at him. It's probably supposed to represent Louis' loss of sanity and the malevolent influence that the ground has on people, but the sequence lasts a couple of seconds, feels weird and adds nothing to the story.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: I don't wanna be buried in a pet sematary...
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: A rare case of Author Apathy - King was afraid of publishing the novel feeling the thing was too bleak and hopeless. Then it appeared to be a way out of his Doubleday contract, and he submitted it (to his surprise, audiences loved it).
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment : The name of the "obediant" cat (also a case of Real Life Writes the Plot, since it was named for King's daughter Naomi's cat) buried in the outer pet cemetery, who was run down in the road...Smucky.
  • Memetic Mutation: "Sometimes, dead is better."
  • Narm:
  • Paranoia Fuel: After reading\watching, it's not hard to be afraid of what cats and children can do (a reviewer stated Jud's death "kept me checking under just about every bed I stand next to for the past two decades."). Or of trucks.
  • Squick: Once again, all over the place
  • Uncanny Valley: People and animals brought back by the burying ground usually have this effect on the living. Even for those that aren't in the know, there's something just not right about them. Louis describes a time when Church jumped into a visitor's lap, and they almost immediately pushed the cat away, somehow sensing that there is something inherently wrong about the cat. Jud's story about Timmy Baterman being brought back shows that it's even stronger with other humans.
    • This was exploited by the filmmakers when they cast a man as Zelda, as they knew it would made her even more weird-looking and unsettling.
  • The Woobie: Ellie Creed. At the end of the story she's sedated in the hospital, perhaps driven half-mad from unheeded psychic warnings, her brother is dead, as is her mother, and her cat, and in the movie her father (though it's a given that he'll also die soon in the book). And all this at the age of six...
    • Jerkass Woobie: Louis, who just won't learn his lesson about letting dead stay dead, but you can't help but pity him anyway.
      • Zelda, somewhat, too. She wasn't exactly nice, but she was a little girl in HORRIBLE PAIN and nobody could do anything about it.
      • Rachel.
      • Irwin Goldman, he hates Louis, but his latest anger towards Louis is partially justified due to his grandson's death at a very young age and some of Irwin's rage towards Louis was probably out of grief too then just spite. Plus, it probably would get worse for him when he hears the news his daughter Rachel is dead before resurrecting as an Ax-Crazy zombie who kills Louis at the end of the movie.