Any year with multiple adaptations of Stephen King books heading to theaters is a great year. OK, unless it’s more Dark Tower movies. Damn, that movie didn’t work at all. But we have higher hopes for this new take on the author’s Pet Sematary, which exists to remind grieving parents that sometimes, dead is better. The new trailer just dropped, so press play:
There’s a shot in that trailer that will make the hairs on the back of the necks of Stephen King fans stand at attention. It’s the shot of John Lithgow’s foot. Because we know what’s coming next. A razor-sharp surgical scalpel is about to sever a tendon, in one of the most memorable King moments in any of his books.
Pet Sematary is a mean story. It plays on people’s basic emotions, of love and loss, and the need to wipe away tragedy, by any means necessary. It asks the simple question, “If you could bring a deceased loved one back somehow, would you?” We know that the answer should be no. So when we get to the line, “I know what you’re thinking of doing. But they don’t come back the same.” It’s positively bone-chilling.
This is not the first time that Hollywood gave Pet Sematary a big-screen telling, as the first film – dropped in 1989 – has become a bit of a cult classic, but also stands as a movie that hasn’t aged incredibly well. King’s stories have a Shakesperean flexibility to them, in that they can be told repeatedly, by different voices, and be more effective to a new generation.
Take, for instance, the way that King’s masterful IT is being translated by Andy Muschietti. That two-parter will continue what has been a resurgence in Stephen King storytelling, from the TV screen (Castle Rock) to the movie theaters. And we are all in on scary-looking adaptations like this.
Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer direct the latest Pet Sematary, which casts Jason Clarke and Amy Seimetz as parents facing a conundrum when their daughter suddenly passes. I don’t want to give too much away here, though the new trailer essentially lays out where the devious storyline will go. All I know is that John Lithgow is perfect casting as Jud Crandall, the man who plants a demon seed in Clarke’s brain. And Kolsch and Widmyer helmed Starry Eyes, which was a critically acclaimed horror satire that got people very excited.
Pet Sematary will close this year’s South By Southwest film festival in Austin, Texas. The rest of us have to wait until April 5 to see if dead actually is better. To stay up to date on all the movies coming to theaters in 2019, bookmark our handy release calendar. We refresh it all the time.
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.