Many Stephen King novels are marked by extremely memorable tropes, and the 2019 Pet Sematary adaptation - with a release date of April 5, 2019 - is no exception. In fact, the 2019 cinematic version of the 1983 novel has an outstanding amount of Stephen King trademarks. For example, there's almost always a child character who endures ceaseless bloodshed, gore, and violence; in many of the works, a child is usually the one who causes must of the destruction.
The Paramount version of Pet Sematary makes these horror-movie hallmarks feel fresh, turning classic jump scares into relentless, abject horror.
- Photo: Paramount Pictures
An Unexplained Evil Force
The land purchased by the Creed family is just too perfect. No wonder the property holds a centuries-old, inexplicably evil force. This great evil, much like the nameless entity that makes the Shining hotel so formidable, is responsible for reanimating corpses.
Though Jud blames a Wendigo spirit for turning the cemetery corpses sour, he doesn't have much information about the being. He doesn't even understand how the evil burial ground works, but both the cemetery and the surrounding woods possess great negative energy.
- Photo: Paramount Pictures
An Almost Idyllic (But Mostly Just Creepy) Maine Setting
Many Stephen King novels expertly contrast beautiful settings and horrific events. And Maine, his home state, is often the backdrop for these literary comparisons. It, Salem's Lot, and Pet Sematary all occur in Maine.
In Pet Sematary, the Creeds move to the idyllic state and are instantly struck by the peacefulness and tranquility of their new home; however, the woods behind their picturesque home hold a pet cemetery and eery processions of kids who cart around dead animals. Plus, the property is freakishly close to a motorway that huge 18-wheeler trucks use often.
A Child With A Chronic Physical Condition
Rachel Creed's sister, Zelda, suffered from spinal meningitis for much of her childhood. Her life was cut short due to complications from the disease that twisted and malformed her back, limbs, and toes. Throughout the story, she screams in constant pain and lashes out at her sister who was born free of physical ailments.
Zelda's chronic situation and her physical turmoil contributed to Rachel's guilt.
A Rural, Isolated Town
Louis and Rachel Creed transport their family to Ludlow, ME, deliberately seeking isolation. They want to spend more time with their children and generally slow down. And Ludlow is certainly isolated.
The Creeds' only neighbor, Jud Crandall, lives so far away he can't hear when the reanimated Ellie goes on a destructive and violent spree. Perhaps if the houses were closer together, he would have had some warning of the horror to come.