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‘Unearthed and Untold: The Path to Pet Sematary’ (review); Plus a FEARnyc Details!

From this past Friday to this Thursday October 27th, New York City’s Cinema Village is host to an extensive horror film festival called FEARnyc.  Over 65 screenings of new and classic horror films are accompanied by cast appearances and special events, including a tribute to the late Wes Craven.

Making its New York premiere at the festival this weekend, the equality ambitious story of Pet Sematary from book to screen.  Unearthed and Untold: The Path to Pet Sematary is the type of labor-of-love behind the scenes that goes beyond your typical DVD extra.

trailer-for-the-pet-sematary-documentary-unearthed-untold-the-path-to-pet-semataryThough the film was a hit for Paramount in theaters and on home video, its terrible sequel and a resurgence of terrible Stephen King adaptations thereafter put it out of my memory certainly.  It wasn’t until recently that I rediscovered its effectiveness.

Not only is it an incredibly dark story, but Mary Lambert’s direction brought an equally effective tone.  Dealing in death and a fate worse than it, Pet Sematary the film ranks in the top of the horror author’s best adaptations.

Directors John Campopiano and Justin White have assembled a very thorough back-story containing new interviews with all of the key cast members, but they don’t stop there.  There are interviews with extras, below-the-line crew, and plenty of horror aficionados eager to talk about the film.  The documentary works best when showcasing the more interesting tidbits of trivia about the low-budget, on-location in Maine shoot.

I’ve always wondered how the filmmakers got such an incredible performance out of the young Miko Hughes who plays Gage Creed.  Vintage BTS video clips and first hand accounts explain much of the movie-magic that prevented the young actor from injury, physically and mentally.

Unfortunately, the low-budget doc is devoid completely of any clips or music from the original film.  That’s a shame, because this is one of the more comprehensive horror film making-of’s I’ve seen assembled.  I would love to see this documentary resurrected to include those clips, some more polished animation and a professional sound mix.  If Scream Factory is looking to do justice on a Pet Sematary release in the future, they’d be wise to polish this doc as a bonus feature.

Additional premieres and new films showing at FEARnyc this week include:



Directed by Jon Bristol, performed by the Elmwood Puppets and presented as part of a fictional late-night B-movie public access show, this unique feature focuses on a group of twentysomethings on a weekend camping trip in remote New England who begin to uncover that the site of their getaway was host to a series of brutal mass murders, as their once fun vacation turns into a fight to survive.




Called “a must-see for fans of killer clown movies” by Dread Central, Clowntown follows a group of friends who get stranded in a seemingly abandoned town and find themselves stalked by a gang of violent psychopaths dressed as clowns. Produced by Jeff Miller (Axe Giant: The Wrath of Paul Bunyan) and Robert Kurtzman (From Dusk Till Dawn), with makeup effects by David H. Greathouse (Syfy’s “Face/ Off,” Tusk).




In the world’s first movie filmed completely on Snapchat, a group of social media obsessed friends journey into the woods to explore the lore of Sickhouse. Viewers are led on a ride that has unexpected consequences for all involved, including the audience.


Green Lake


From Tim Burton Productions’ Derek Frey, producer of Frankenweenie and Corpse Bride. In Hawai’i, pockets of magic still exist. And so do those that protect them. A cross between Creature from the Black Lagoon and Picnic at Hanging Rock, Green Lake draws inspiration from the beauty and mysticism of Hawai’i, b-horror, monster movies, and The X-Files. Shot entirely in remote areas on the Big Island of Hawai’i.


The Dark Tapes


A genre-defying mixture of horror, sci-fi, myth, mystery, and thrills that’s been taking the festival world by storm. Told as four interlocking tales in one intelligent anthology, The Dark Tapes features ghosts, spirits, creatures, demons, and more from the paranormal world.


Michael Myers: Absolute Evil 


A retelling of John Carpenter’s Halloween in the style of a documentary that portrays the events of the film and its six sequels as events that actually happened. Featuring interviews with survivors like Lindsey Wallace, Haddonfield residents, authors, criminologists, and journalists, Michael Myers: Absolute Evil offers a chilling, real-world perspective on the legendary horror franchise.




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