I read this shortly before the movie came out although I didn’t end up seeing the movie. I like the idea of horror, and I enjoy reading it on occasion, but I don’t like watching it that much. I used to, but at some point, I decided I didn’t like jump scares, and haven’t really watched much horror since. I did see Get Out, but it was at home and during the day.
The thing is the story itself is intriguing and I can absolutely see why it has had the staying power it has had. The idea of a cemetery that can bring back beloved pets, even if they come back slightly different? As long as they aren’t violent, isn’t anything better than nothing? And I can understand the desperation that took the family over eventually, especially the dad, despite disagreeing with his decision to act as he did.
The thing, though, is it’s a bit of a tough book to swallow because the gender dynamics are so frustrating. King has grown a lot over the years, but in this novel, the wife is not nearly as realized as a character as her husband, and even before the incident, there are interactions where she is the irrational one to the his calm demeanor.
The story at the core is a great, tight horror story – it’s amazing how short his novels were back in the day compared to now. However, the late 70s/early 80s gender dynamic might be a bit of a turn off. Beyond that, though, King created a real character. Louis has his moments, but he also loses patience quickly with his children, perhaps showing some of King’s own fears about fatherhood and being good enough. I think this was one of the last classic King novels I was missing so at minimum, from a completionist perspective, this was time well spent.