Zelda’s Waiting: Pet Sematary (1989)

A quick glance at the IMDb website and it’s apparent that there is a lot of nostalgic affection for Mary Lambert’s film adaptation of the Stephen King novel, Pet Sematary (1989). I am a huge fan of King’s massive literary collection and Pet Sematary sits fairly high in my rankings of his work. My love for the original source material may in part explain why I have never considered Pet Sematary to be among the better film adaptations of King’s work. By no means do I consider it to be a bad film but it largely missed the mark in my opinion. Nevertheless, Rachel’s flashbacks to her childhood and the death of her sister, Zelda, and later nightmare about Zelda’s return, were chilling and unnerving. For our Monday Morning Scare on March 12, 2018, we take a look back at Zelda’s nightmarish return in Pet Sematary.

This is not a jump-scare but it is one of the stand-out, skin-crawling moments from Lambert’s Pet Sematary adaptation. The make-up effects, voice, and actor’s contortions all combine to produce an incredibly uncomfortable moment. You know Zelda is going to come out of the shadows and walk towards the camera and it’s the cumulative effective of anticipation and confirmation that heightens the dread.


Author: Andrew Welsh

I am a Criminology professor in Canada but I've always had a passion for horror films. Over the years I've slowly begun incorporating my interest in the horror genre into my research. After years of saying I wanted to write more about horror I have finally decided to create my own blog where I can share some of my passion and insights into the films I love.

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