The iconic Stephen King is still the king of horror, and now a new big screen version of his novel Pet Sematary is going to release next year. EW has unveiled the first images from the movie to give the audiences an idea of what lies in store for them. The official synopsis of the movie mentions, “Based on the seminal horror novel by Stephen King, Pet Sematary follows Dr. Louis Creed (Jason Clarke), who, after relocating with his wife Rachel (Amy Seimetz) and their two young children from Boston to rural Maine, discovers a mysterious burial ground hidden deep in the woods near the family’s new home. When tragedy strikes, Louis turns to his unusual neighbor, Jud Crandall (John Lithgow), setting off a perilous chain reaction that unleashes an unfathomable evil with horrific consequences.”
You can take a look below at the first images of the movie that is scheduled to release on April 5, next year.
[H/T Entertainment Weekly]
Just like most of the famous stories written by Stephen King, this novel is inspired by a real-life experience that the author had with his family.
According to Stephen King’s website, “Stephen was serving as a writer-in-residence at the University of Maine at Orono and living in a rented house in nearby Orrington that bordered a major truck route which frequently claimed the lives of dogs and cats. In the woods behind his house, local children had created an informal pet cemetery. One day, his daughter’s cat was killed by a passing truck. Stephen was faced with the task of burying the cat in the pet cemetery and then explaining to his daughter what had happened.”
It is further mentioned on the website, “It was on the third day after the burial that the idea for a novel came to him.”
The character of Jud Crandall was earlier played by Fred Gwyne (The Munsters), but, this time John Lithgow is playing the role in the upcoming movie.
“He is a good man, but he is a good man with troubles in his life,” Lithgow told EW about the character he plays.“And he’s grown up with some real demons.”
This is not Lithgow’s first horror venture, and the actor had previously played roles in other horror films like Blow Out and Raising Cain, and one of Lithgow’s memorable roles was playing a serial murderer on the hit series Dexter. It is interesting to note that Lithgow’s co-star from Dexter, Michael C. Hall had recently done narration on a Pet Sematary audiobook.
The novel has Clarke play the role of a doctor, and according to co-director Dennis Widmyer, it is a major motivation behind the story. Apart from being a grieving father taking what he believes are best steps for the family, his medical skills are the influence behind his decision to resurrect his son.
According to Widmyer, Louis is “a guy who thinks he has death figured out. ‘I see death every day, I work in an ER. Don’t tell me about death, I understand death.’ But he doesn’t understand death when it’s dropped onto his lap. He’ll do whatever he can to undo it. It’s sort of like the science world meets the supernatural world.”
The character of the undead cat Churchill is probably the most famous image of this novel and the earlier cinematic version of the story. After having been given a burial and returned to life, the cat has definitely transformed. The movie’s co-director Kevin Kolsch observed the importance of the impact that a pet’s loss makes on the emotional side of the story.
“Having a pet die is a way that a lot of kids learn about death, and how to deal with death for the first time,” Kölsch says. “It kind of helps you accept death as a natural part of life.”
A lot of Stephen King stories stress on the connection between the family members, and Pet Sematary is probably one of the more emotionally impactful trips. From the pain that Churchill’s death causes to the family to the death of Gage, the reason behind the Creed family relocating was to bring about a positive turnaround in their lives, but, it turns out to be their biggest mistake ever.
Also, Rachel Creed (Amy Seimetz) has a dark past. When she was a young girl, she was given the responsibility of taking care of her sister Zelda, who suffered from spinal meningitis. However, the physical impact affected her sister, and Rachel frequently wished for her sister to die and end the family’s suffering.
Rachel found it difficult to come to terms with the death and loss of her sister Zelda and it eventually impacted the way she tended to her kids, making matters worse when things start going wrong.
“Rachel went through something extremely traumatic when she was younger with her sister, and she freezes up when death is talked about,” Seimetz revealed. “She doesn’t want to face it and doesn’t want her daughter to go through the same thing.”
She added, “It’s a hard topic for her to discuss. Not just because she wants to protect her kid, but also because she’s protecting some part of herself as well.”
TOPPING THE ORIGINAL
Among the biggest box office success of 2017 was IT, based on the mighty novel by King. The film had been earlier turned into a live-action miniseries in 1990, and the last year’s movie overtook the earlier one in many ways.
Since Pet Sematary had been a film earlier, but, the new version’s screenwriter believes it might be the most frightening King film ever.
“I will say this, if you love the book, you’ll love this movie,” Jeff Buhler told Dread Central. “Dennis and Kevin are both such visionaries in terms of how they’ve approached it, from not only a horror standpoint but also a character standpoint, and it’s been really gratifying to work with those guys. I think we’re on track to it make one of the scariest Stephen King adaptations ever! That’s our goal anyway.”
Pet Sematary will be out in theaters on April 5, 2019.