Film Discussion

Pet Sematary – 2019 Preview

Stephen King!

Everybody loves Stephen King!

Since around mid-2017 when the brutal triple-header of IT, Mr Mercedes and Gerald’s Game hit and erased the poor memories of The Dark Tower, Stephen King based films and TV have been a big thing. Ok, so King adaptations have been a regular staple of cinema and TV since before the ink even dried on Carrie, but the summer of ’17 was something special.

So along with the second chapter of IT, more Castle Rock, and principle photography just finishing on The Shining sequel Doctor Sleep, one of the long-standing projects that finally got off the ground was directing pair Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer’s adaptation of the book that famously scared and disturbed its author: Pet Sematary.

The Starry Eyes directors – seriously, if you haven’t seen Starry Eyes, this article will still be here while it waits for you to see it – have brought in Jason Clarke (Lawless) and Amy Seimetz (Stranger Things) as the Creeds who move out to a suburb with a creepy cemetery behind their house, with John Lithgow in support as Judd Crandall, the kooky old neighbour who introduces the Creeds and their kids to the Pet Sematary – and later, the sacred ground beyond.

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While it holds a special place in the hearts of those that saw it in the ’90s, Mary Lambert’s 1989 adaptation of the classic novel hasn’t held up well. Everything from those terrifying scenes with the twisted and deformed Zelda to Louis Creed being attacked by a zombie cat: fans love these scenes but there is something… missing… for new audiences. A fresh viewpoint and a new coat of paint is exactly what is required, and Kolsch and Widmyer may just be the perfect guys to bring Pet Sematary to a fresh audience, while hopefully not forgetting about fans of not just the original, but the novel.

Film fans are rabid when it comes to remakes. And Stephen King fans are extremely loud when it comes to adaptations of his books. Pet Sematary is a perfect storm in the making, and whether it’s for a wealth of praise or a tidal wave of hate remains to be seen. But if anyone can deliver big things with this story and prove that the ground isn’t sour, it’s this superb director pairing.

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