Pet Semetary (1989, dir. Mary Lambert)
The tag “sometimes dead is better” works for me in this movie because I’d much rather deal with any of the dead characters than Zelda. It’s just a quick flashback but something about that character’s look and sound has always stuck with me. The rest of the movie though is about dealing with the loss of loved ones and what you would do to change that.
When a family loses a young child in a horrible accident a kindly neighbor tells the child’s father about a burial ground not far from where they live, a place with unnatural power. The neighbor tells a story about another family who lost a child and how a parent buried their son there only to see him come back. The problem was that he came back different, different in that he was a maniac and wound up killing his parent as his house burnt around him.
Despite this warning the lead goes ahead and takes his son in the hopes that he will return to him. Needless to say things go wrong and we get treated to a whole new definition of the terrible twos for a toddler.