Is it possible for a horror movie to be too good? If it is, then Cujo is it: this is one of the few films on record where the combination of low shock and high style results in an experience that borders on the unbearably intense. The movie is spectacularly well-made, but it's nearly unwatchable. [29 Aug 1983]
Cujo is one of those nightmares that does not require even the suspension of disbelief. Anyone who can accept that there are dogs, people and cars that don't work can be scared silly by this movie. And, of course, the caveat: Anyone who takes a young child to Cujo needs to have his head examined. [15 Aug 1983, p.C6]
Eric HendersonSlant Magazine
To be blunt, because there was just barely enough material in the source text to pad out the film, the filmmakers also used a lot of the stuff that worked in novel form but came off as stultifying on the screen.
Time Out London
For all its ingenuity, Cujo does lose an awful lot of ground from the fact that rabid St Bernards tend to evoke pity rather than terror.
Although well-made, this screen adaptation of Stephen King's Cujo emerges as a dull, uneventful entry in the horror genre. Novel about a mad dog on the rampage occupies a low place in the King canon, which is understandable if the film's stupefying predictability is an accurate reflection of the book.