Once you’re dead and buried most humans just honor the deceased. Not this time though. The film takes us to the beyond and back several times through the eyes of Dr. Louis Creed, who recently left Boston to move to a much smaller sort of eerie town in Maine. When his daughter Eleanor hears the slow drums banging and a recession for a dead pooch she is confused yet intrigued. The cemetery is on her parents property and when she tries to investigate further she is halted by the neighbor, Jud.
Jud and Ellie become fast friends as he explains the history of the pet cemetery. He tells her about his own dog that is buried there. He gets introduced to her seemingly adored cat Church. On Halloween Jud discovers Church killed on the side of the road. Afraid that he might ruin the trick or treating with Ellie and her friends he tells Dr Creed that they can take care of it tonight. Mrs. Creed has issues surrounding death since she has been a child and routinely experiences flashbacks of her sick sister falling to her ultimate demise. She believes in Heaven but finds it difficult to tell her daughter about what really happened to Church.
Jud takes Dr Creed way past the regular cemetery to find a better spot to bury Church. The next day when her parents try to tell her that Church has run away, Ellie says that she sees him right there. To Dr. Creed’s surprise, Church is back. How? He rushes to Jud to ask him what he did and why he took him to the desolated burial. Jud proclaims he did it for Ellie not to be sad. Church is surely not the same friendly cat, he is vicious in to his owners and even attacks Ellie. Eventually Dr Creed takes him far away and leaves him there as he doesn’t have the heart to put him down.
Weeks later at a birthday party for Ellie in an attempt to boast the mood in the Creed household she is killed by a tractor trailer when she runs to meet Church coming up the road. More darkness and sadness consumes the family and Mrs Creed has to leave to recoup herself. She returns to her family’s home in Boston with their younger child Gage. Something is very off and she can sense it. On the drive to Boston we can see what Gage sees and it isn’t a pretty sight. Can children really see dead people? Apparently.
In his despair Dr Creed makes a plan to take Ellie’s body to the same burial ground that brought back Church. He drugs Jud so he wouldn’t be aware of his whereabouts and digs up his daughters grave and moves her. When he returns home he is still sad but seems faithful that he has done what he should to bring back his daughter. We here a creaking in the basement and soon Ellie appears. She has returned. The film ends with a sorrid twist where Gage is the only member of his family left alive, for now.
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