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Film / Pet Sematary Two

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"Back by popular demand."

The 1992 sequel to the horror film Pet Sematary (1989), starring Edward Furlong, Anthony Edwards, and Clancy Brown.

Not knowing that sometimes dead is better, two boys bury the other's pet dog in the eponymous resurrective cemetery. The pup comes back wrong, and so do the people who inevitably end up buried there as well.

The sequel provides examples of:

  • Abandoned Hospital: Chase takes up work in one after moving to Ludlow. It's a vet hospital, but that doesn't make it any less creepy.
  • Abusive Parents: Sheriff Gus Gilbert, who was going to go as far as beat his step-son with a big stick for sneaking out of the house until Drew's dog Zowie, whom Gus shot and killed, shows up and tears his throat out.
  • Accidental Hero: Possibly with Zowie mauling Gus. Zowie was protecting Drew from a beating, but this may've just been payback for Gus killing him in the first place. It's not long after this that Zowie attacks Drew, so either the undead dog cared nothing for the boy at all or any semblance of loyalty just faded away.
  • Ax-Crazy: Those risen by the burial ground seem even crazier than the last film, as seen when Gus tries to drill a hole through Chase's eye in their fight wide-eyed with glee and with an evil grin. The resurrected Clyde takes this literally in his fight with Jeff.
  • Alliterative Name: Gus Gilbert.
  • Asshole Victim: Both Gus and Clyde. In fact, the former kills the latter when he becomes a zombie.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Like any good zombie, both Gus and Zowie go down after taking a shot to the brain. Renee, however, incinerates due to the mortician's wax that was holding her body together igniting.
  • Bad People Abuse Animals: Asshole Victims Gus and Clyde both indulge in this behavior, though Gus is by far the worst of the two. Clyde, though completely irredeemable in every other way, doesn't hurt Tiger.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Chase mentions that he moved to Ludlow to get his son away from life in Los Angeles.
  • Big Bad Friend: After his resurrection, Gus notably becomes nicer to Jeff and Drew, and in Jeff's case goes so far as to come to rescue when Clyde is about to mutilate him. His motives are hardly benign, though — he's playing the Evil Mentor to Jeff so that he'll resurrect his mom, and when Drew sees him kill Clyde he murders both him and his mother.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Compared to the last film this one has a better aftermath. Compared to Louis losing almost everything and becoming little more than a broken man, Chase and Jeff manage to survive their ordeal and resist the burial ground's pull on them enough to cut their losses and move out of Ludlow, leaving them and the Burial Ground behind.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: It certainly ramps up on both compared to the original. Some kills, such as the babysitter's, are gory and bloody to the point of being excruciating.
  • Body Horror:
    • When the Cemetery brings people back, it doesn't heal them of the wounds that killed them; both Gus and Zowie sport grotesque sores that continue to ooze and fester over the course of the film. Gus poorly hides his with Ace bandages.
    • Renee's mortician's wax melts by the fire in the end.
  • The Brute: What Gus becomes post-resurrection, complete with Jabba Table Manners and Implacable Man sprinkles.
  • The Bully: Clyde Parker plays the trope to the hilt. Odds are a child's gruesome death wasn't so celebrated by viewers until Joffrey came along.
  • Bus Crash: According to Clyde, Ellie broke after the events of the first movie, killed her grandparents with an axe, and got sent to a psychiatric ward, with the only two words she's been able to say is "Pet Sematary". He claims that he escaped two days before he told the story and wonders if she might try to return to town. This is a Red Herring, as she never appears in the movie.
  • Came Back Wrong: Interestingly played with compared to the first film — Zowie, a Big Friendly Dog, is transformed into a Hellhound, but utter Jerkass Gus initially comes back nicer (if creepier) than before. The boys theorize that what a person is like before their deaths may have something to do with how they come back, but they are wrong as soon enough Gus falls in line with the revenants of the first film, being stripped of what little humanity he had left.
  • Cape Snag: Clyde's perpetual scarf leads to his demise when Gus catches it in the wheels of his motorbike and grinds half his face off.
  • Chewing the Scenery: Gus, post-resurrection. Clancy Brown hamming it up makes watching this movie worthwhile.
  • Continuity Nod: They left tons of nods in this movie, from Jeff passing by the old Creed house, to Clyde retelling how Louis dug up Gage to revive him, to a reference to Church when the vet compares the dog's blood to Church's, even though the Creeds took Church to the vet once and he was alive at that time.
  • Contrasting Sequel Main Character: Two to Louis Creed.
    • Jeff's a kid instead of an adult, he loses a parent instead of a child, and he suffered his defining tragedy before moving to Ludlow instead of afterwards. However, like Louis, he can't escape the pull of reviving a beloved relative and starts losing his grip on his sanity. Unlike Louis, however, Jeff is able to snap out of it and walk away.
    • Chase is a family man and doctor (albeit a veterinarian). However, his introductory scene distinguishes him from Louis: an owner opts to put down an elderly dog, and Chase supports the decision on the grounds it will spare the old dog pain. This indicates that Chase can accept death and believes in not taking shortcuts for his own benefit that would cause suffering for others. He is never once tempted to use the burial ground (though granted that he learns about it well-after his son does) and is actively disgusted by the reanimated, even Renee.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Seems to be this movie's stock in trade compared to the original, but the crowning example is Drew and his mom being pushed into the path of a potato truck by Gus. Cue an avalanche of potatoes and a Dead-Hand Shot of his mother's bloody foot.
  • Cute Kitten: Subverted. Zowie, after being reanimated, is shown in a kennel at Chase's office, growling at another kennel with three adorable tabby kittens in it. The kittens hiss back. Cut to the next morning, where we see a pair of excited twin girls being led into the room by their mom who tells them that they can pick whichever kitten they want, only to scream in horror at the sight of the dog's busted-open kennel and the kittens' busted-open kennel caked with blood and gray fur.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Gus, post-resurrection. Clancy Brown takes great relish in hamming it up.
    Chase: What are you doing, Gus?
    Gus: (glances down at the newly-dead Zowie) Well, I was building a doggie door.
  • Doing In the Wizard: As with the first film, there is no mention of the Wendigo (the driving force behind the Micmac burial ground in the book).
  • Eldritch Location: The Micmac Burial Ground as before. This time it drives both the living (Jeff's grief into outright mania) and the dead (Gus post-resurrection) to create more revenant zombies.
  • The End... Or Is It?: Chase and Jeff safely leave Ludlow, but after the camera follows their truck, it then pans over to the burial ground as if to suggest horror will descend upon the town again one day.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Gus, which gets exaggerated after he gets resurrected.
  • Evil Mentor: Gus becomes one to Jeff post-resurrection, protecting him from Clyde and digging up his mom's body for him so he can bury it in the Pet Sematary.
  • Eye Scream: Majorie is killed by Renee with her left eye being stabbed by scissors.
  • Fatal Method Acting: In-Universe, Jeff's mother Renee, an actress, is accidentally killed on the set of a movie when she's electrocuted by live wires.
  • For the Evulz: Clyde starts picking on Jeff simply because his mom died, to the point in which he was going to shred Jeff's face to a bicycle wheel, knowing that it might even kill him.
  • Freak Out: Jeff, when Clyde cruelly dresses a mannequin up like his mother, hangs it from a tree in a noose and then springs it on him at the Pet Sematary.
  • Fuzz Therapy: Tiger, the kitten that Jeff adopts. Thankfully, he survives, unlike Church from the first movie.
  • Ghost Story: How the story about Ellie is framed. Clyde is telling it to a bunch of teenagers at the pet cemetery on Halloween night, clearly trying to scare them. It's ambiguous if any of it was actually true, but Clyde did know other details about the previous movie's events.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Seems to be the source of Clyde's unrelenting Jerkassery towards Jeff, as the latter is the son of a famous and beloved (and now deceased) actress.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: When Gus kills Clyde by grinding half his head away with a motorbike wheel, the camera thankfully cuts away to his face being splattered with a fine shower of blood. Lovely.
  • Harmful to Minors: Gus cruelly torments his stepson Drew, shamelessly gets it on with his mother in front of the boy, shoots his dog, and almost beats him with a cross pre-resurrection. Post-resurrection he treats him kindly at first, but after Drew witnesses his murder of Clyde he hunts Drew down, chases him through the house and ultimately runs him and his mother off the road and into a potato truck.
  • Hope Spot:
    • Jeff so badly wanted his parents to get back together. Renee says she is at least willing to discuss it over dinner, much to Jeff's delight. She is killed soon afterwards.
    • Drew is cornered in his house by Gus and Zowie, barely staying one step ahead. He spots his mother pulling in to park and gets to her car, urging her to peel out. Unfortunately for them, Gus has a car of his own.
  • I Love the Dead: Inverted. Gus, shortly after coming back to life, rapes his wife. It also seems to be what is driving him to "mentor" Jeff and help him bring Renee back, based on his crude taunts to Chase before he dies (again).
  • Implacable Man: Gus is dealt several injuries over the course of the film with little effect, including getting shot in the chest. This, even though the last movie established the re-animated are NOT standard zombies and can be killed by a simple morphine overdose.
    Gus: (upon getting shot) Owww... I hate it when that happens.
  • Ironic Echo: Several, though the most notable is when Gus catches Clyde about to mangle Jeff's face with a bicycle wheel. Clyde replies with the words "I was just fucking with him" and proceeds to taunt Gus by telling him that he can't touch him. Gus doesn't take it well.
    Clyde: (is punched to the ground) What are you doing?!
    Gus: (picks up Clyde's motorbike and revs it up) I'm just fucking with you!
  • Jerkass: Gus and Clyde are nearly completely irredeemable human beings. The only nice thing you can say about either is that Gus keeps paparazzi from hounding Jeff during his mom's funeral and Clyde kept himself from harming Tiger outright, but other than that they're both rotten to the core.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: After Gus's resurrection Jeff jumps off the slope, becoming increasingly obsessed with the idea of resurrecting his mom.
  • Kick the Dog: Gus shoots the dog, establishing him as an Asshole Victim writ large. Clyde indulges on a smaller scale by kidnapping (though thankfully not harming) Tiger.
  • Laughably Evil: The burial ground may have made Gus more Ax-Crazy, but made him more funnier than when he was alive.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Gus and Clyde both get their comeuppance in quick and satisfying fashion.
  • Make Sure He's Dead: After Chase kills Gus by shooting him in the head, he pauses in the doorway on the way out of the house before turning around, heading back inside, and shooting him three more times, just to be sure.
  • Momma's Boy: While Jeff loves both his parents and wants them to be together, it's clear he was closer to Renee, which is why her death so deeply affects him. It's part of why the idea of using the burial ground becomes so appealing.
  • Noodle Incident: It is mentioned that Rachel Creed was killed a second time, which accounts for why she doesn't appear here. The exact circumstances of what happened after the first movie and how she was disposed of, though, are left to the imagination.
  • Numbered Sequels: Represented with a written number.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: This film expands on the twisted Revenants resurrected by the burial ground, showing that they're just as affected by the burial ground's pull on them as the living and are thus compelled to make more of their number. There's also an inverse example, as unlike the first film, which shows its undead are still vulnerable to things that would kill ordinary humans, like a drug overdose, in this movie they're more like Romero-brand zombies; unaffected by injuries, but shooting them in the head seems to do the trick as Chase shoots Zowie and Gus in the head with his revolver and they each take a few seconds to succumb to their wounds.
  • Pet the Dog: Gus post-reanimation is initially rather kind to Drew, though it most definitely doesn't last. He is also surprisingly kind to Jeff, such as protecting him from Clyde. He even goes to the trouble of procuring Renee's body, but he lets Jeff do the work at the burial ground (per that established attitude about burying what is yours).
  • Rabid Cop: Gus is a little on the rabid side even before his untimely demise. Afterwards he's okay for a little while, but then cranks it up to eleven.
  • Sanity Slippage: Not as bad as Louis', but Jeff really gets obsessed with reviving his mom as the movie goes on. It's implied that the Burial Ground itself is driving his behavior.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Chase goes to visit Ludlow's former vet to get his insight into what's happening. The man simply urges Chase to go back to his house, pack up, and get the hell outta town. Chase ultimately heeds his advice.
  • Sequel Escalation: A cat was the featured animal to Come Back Wrong in the first film, so naturally a dog is used this time around. People being resurrected, on the other hand, is what sets the plot in motion rather than being saved for a horrifying climax. Justified, as it would make sense for two teenagers to make a rash decision (and be more easily influenced by the burial ground) to bring back a pet. The Burial Ground later subsumes Jeff's personality entirely and, with Gus' assistance, brings his mother's corpse to the grounds setting the climax in motion.
  • The Sheriff: Gus Gilbert is a stock villainous example.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Slasher Smile: Gus seems to have one permanently pasted on post-resurrection.
  • Taking You with Me: A resurrected Renee sets fire to the attic while Jeff and Zombie!Clyde are fighting with this precise intention.
    Renee: Jeff...I don't want to be alone! Come back! Stay with me. Dead is better! DEAD IS BETTER!
  • This Is a Drill: Gus uses one against Chase, and tries to give him an impromptu lobotomy with it.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Gus killing Zowie and Drew seeking to revive his beloved dog cause numerous deaths in the long run, including their own.
  • Wicked Stepfather: Gus treated his stepson cruelly even before his death.
  • Your Head A-Splode: Clyde's head explodes after Jeff shoves a cut wire in his mouth.