We at iHorror.com want to wish Dale Midkiff a happy 58th Birthday! You may not know his name, but if you’re a horror fan you surely know his work. In 1989 Midkiff played Louis Creed in the movie adaptation of Stephen King’s Pet Sematary. This was the first movie King adapted to a screenplay. As someone who both read the book and has seen the film I can say this is one of the best screen adaptations of any of King’s characters.
In the movie Midkiff needed an arsenal of emotions, ranging from caring and loving father and husband to grief and desperation. His portrayal of desperation had to make you believe anyone in his position would have done the same actions he took in the film, including yourself. To make a selfish decision to bring a loved one back, even knowing they may not come back “right,” but having to try anyway; this is what you needed to feel, and I believe Midkiff delivered this performance without question.
While it wasn’t the cornerstone of the plot, my favorite scenes with Midkiff weren’t necessarily the horror scenes, but the scenes with his family. He needed to build a sound foundation for the audience to believe he was fully invested in his family, and I bought it hook, line, and sinker. If you didn’t believe his family was his whole world then you wouldn’t understand his actions of bringing them back from the dead.
Unfortunately after this role Midkiff’s acting appearances consisted of a lot of TV movies and one off television appearances. An aficionado of the genre could easily spot his signature good looks in his appearances in The Crow: Salvation (2000) and Route 666 (2001). However, he mainly bounces around television shows from guest appearance to guest appearance.
While his appearance in horror has been short lived fans of Pet Sematary have kept him alive in the convention scene as a veteran of the genre in a much beloved role.
Fun fact: Ok, I don’t know if “fun” is the appropriate word to describe it, but when Louis Creed awakens suddenly from a nightmare he rolls off of the bed and brains himself on the nightstand next to the bed. Ouch!