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Pet Sematary Will Be One of the 'Scariest' Stephen King Adaptations

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The filmmakers behind the new Pet Sematary reboot are reportedly taking an old school approach to keep audiences properly terrified. Stephen King adaptations continue to be popular amongst movie studio executives, but they don’t always stay true to the original source material. However, this is some good news for “Constant Readers."

In recent years, traditional jump scares have mostly been replaced by so-called “elevated horror,” with an aesthetic design that leans more toward psychoanalysis than production gimmicks. For Andy Muschetti’s 2017 adaptation of King’s 1986 novel, IT, he strayed from the book’s most controversial scenes, along with Pennywise's look from the popular 1990 miniseries adaptation. As a result, the horror essentially transferred from the narrative itself to Bill Skarsgård’s physical interpretation of the film’s villain. While Muschetti’s $35 million production made over $700 million at the box office and received positive reviews, IT didn’t necessarily retain the book’s original horror. The same argument could be made for Mary Lambert’s 1989 film Pet Sematary, which didn’t quite impress critics with its overt visual scares.

Related: Every IT Chapter 2 Update You Need to Know

Per Dread Central, Paramount’s 2019 reboot of Pet Sematary will stay closer to the book’s original narrative. With Jason Clarke set to star as Louis Creed, the film will be helmed by Dennis Widmyer and Kevin Kolsch, the co-directors of the 2014 horror film Starry Eyes. For Pet Sematary, screenwriter Jeff Buhler acknowledged that he and the directors will focus on the original source material, hoping to create “the scariest Stephen King adaptation ever.” According to Buhler, it’s the book's “absolute dread” that he wants to channel while staying away from the “borderline campy” moments from the 1989 movie.

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Pet Sematary is currently scheduled for an April 2019 release in the United States, and shooting will begin this summer in Montreal. Buhler wrote the upcoming SYFY series Nightflyers, and his Pet Sematary co-writer is David Kajganich, the screenwriter for Luca Guadagnino’s remake of Dario Argento’s Suspiria. Matt Greenberg is listed as Pet Sematary’s third co-writer, and veteran actor John Lithgow has been cast as Jud Crandall.

Those who are familiar with the original Pet Sematary source material, may consider a wide range of scenes to be crucial for a loyal remake. For some, the Suspiria connection may be most interesting, as they may not only be a fan of the original Italian film, but excited by the initial response to the film’s teaser clip and first images following its presentation at CinemaCon, which suggests that Pet Sematary may be equally upsetting in the best kind of way. For casting, Clark and Lithgow are strong character actors, but fans of the book may be curious to see who the filmmakers line up next, and how far they’re willing to go for King’s Constant Readers.

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MORE: Original Suspiria Star Calls Remake ‘Brilliantly Scary’

Source: Dread Central

Key Release Dates
  • Pet Sematary (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
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