In 1983, Doubleday published Pet Sematary. One of Stephen King's shortest novels, Pet Sematary explores the sacrifices people make to keep their family together. It was an immediate hit. The 2019 Pet Sematary film premiered at SXSW to rave reviews and garnered enormously positive critical responses. Releasing nationwide on April 5, 2019, the film promises to provide an unflinching portrayal of fear and mortality.
It builds on the horror of the Creed family's situation, making the reader question their own relationships and how they would react in a similar scenario. It also hints that no one is safe, even in the most idyllic of settings.
Here are the 10 reasons why Pet Sematary will be so terrifying on the big screen.
Pet Sematary permeates a malevolence that extends beyond human understanding. Not only are the reanimated characters infused with a "sour" intent, but the thing driving them all is more of a concept than a physical manifestation or ghost.
In books like The Shining and It, the antagonist is something tangible the main characters can reach out and touch - and if they can touch it, they can defeat it. The same can't be said for the evil presence at the heart of Pet Sematary.
While it's never explicitly stated, the burial ground seems to prompt the locals to bury their friends and family in the sour land. It's as if there's a compelling, all-consuming supernatural force, feasting on the townfolk's suffering. Even the living people who visit the burial grounds don't come back the same; they seem haunted. Consequently, the book notes:
There was something worse than madness here - something much, much worse. It was as if there was a magnet somewhere out in those woods and he could feel it pulling at something in his brain.
Pet Sematary truly captures the cruelty of an evil from beyond the grave, and it's full of intense gore. Moreover, the book's grisly details promise equally visceral portrayals on the big screen. Notably, Stephen King vividly relays the passing of Victor Pascow, a college student whose memory follows Louis Creed throughout the narrative.
That scene may appear in the 2019 film adaptation, preparing moviegoers for a film filled with poignantly shocking scenes. And Jud Crandall's final scene in the film will likely be as brutal as it is in the novel.
The scene is vivid and petrifying when Jud Crandall leads Louis Creed through the woods to the burial ground. These portions of the book possess a dream-like quality, and that haunting ambiguity seems mirrored in the 2019 Pet Sematary trailer.
For example, while they walk, Jud and Louis see ominous symbols, hear unnerving sounds, and doubt their own vision. It appears as if the Wendigo even flashes by in the trailer.