Paramount’s Pet Sematary reboot releases a new movie still, in which John Lithgow’s Jud stands upon dark territory. Thirty years after the original adaptation of Stephen King’s 1983 novel, the modern tale of revived family friends teases “unfathomable evil.”
In 1989, Mary Lambert directed the first Pet Sematary film, featuring Herman Munster himself, Fred Gwynne, as an enigmatic figure named Jud Crandall. When the Creed family moves from Chicago to Maine, Jud reveals a dark narrative about a piece of property that’s more than just a burial ground for animals. In typical King fashion, the Pet Sematary narrative stays true to the horror genre while keeping larger points about society beneath the surface. Lambert later directed a 1992 sequel starring a young Edward Furlong (American History X) and Anthony Edwards, but the the film didn’t receive the same critical acclaim as the original, and King requested that his name be removed. In 2015, Guillermo del Toro stated that he “would kill” to make a Pet Sematary adaption, and It director Andres Muschietti expressed interest in 2017. However, Starry Eyes filmmakers Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer were ultimately recruited by Paramount to direct.
Per Fandango’s 2019 horror preview, Paramount has released a new Pet Sematary still image featuring Lithgow in the great outdoors. While there’s not a whole lot to get excited about, the image does suggest the new Jud will be less physically awkward as Gwynne’s character, as he appears more like a bearded lumberjack than a clean-shaven and wild-eyed old-timer. In addition, Lithgow’s curious gaze touches on the character’s humanity, making him more relatable than fundamentally creepy.
Last May, Kölsch and Widmyer suggested that their adaption of Pet Sematary would be the scariest yet, and they cast Amy Seimetz (Alien: Covenant) as their female lead in June. The first official images were released shortly before Halloween, two of which feature a nervous stare by Lithgow’s Jud. Thus far, the Pet Sematary official trailer has offered the best portrait of Jud and the new Creed family, with Jason Clarke in the lead patriarchal role. In the clip, a commentary by Lithgow’s character establishes the narrative backstory, though the collective sequences offer little character detail beyond Jud's suggestion that “sometimes dead is better.”
So, with the release of a new image featuring a concerned Jud, this coming after a trailer and previous first look images that underline the same thing, perhaps Kölsch and Widmyer have a card up their sleeve. We’ll find out when Pet Sematary is released theatrically next April.
- Pet Sematary (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019