The Anatomy of a Stephen King Movie

Five reasons why Pet Sematary has everything fans expect from the ultimate Stephen King adaptation…

1. It's set in Maine

A LOT of Stephen King stories are set in Maine – Salem’s Lot, Carrie, Cujo, Dolores Claiborne, IT... the list goes on. It has the close-knit, small-town feel that King leans towards in his writing, but that’s not the only reason he continues to revisit the New England town. It’s also the area in which he grew up. 

2. It's inspired by events in King's life

Thankfully the author has not experienced the loss of a child, which is central to the film’s plot, but the idea for the story did come from a death in the family. His daughter’s cat passed away and was buried in their garden. It’s name was Smucky (lest we forget), and King pays tribute to his feline companion in the film’s graveyard.

3. There are evil children and/or animals

Think back to Salem’s Lot with its vampire kids or The Shining with its iconic Grady Twins. Or remember Children of the Corn – was there a single child in that movie that wasn’t creepy? Then, of course, there’s the likes of Cujo – good dog turned bad – or the terrifying rat empire in Graveyard Shift. In Pet Sematary, it’s Church, the cat named after Winston Churchill, that goes a bit wrong when he’s brought back from the dead.

4. There are equally evil vehicles

King’s stories are full of evil vehicles, or evil happening within or because of vehicles. Christine was about a car possessed by a dark spirit, Riding the Bullet was about a guy in a car travelling around having terrifying encounters, in revenge thriller Big Driver the original evil happened in the car, lorries come to life and mess things right up in Maximum Overdrive... Engineering is not to be trusted.

5. It’s rich with supernatural folklore

While very much psychological horrors, King’s stories are often steeped in American folklore and the supernatural. Over and over the dark magic comes from underground – the alien craft in Tommyknockers, Cujo gets fatally bitten in a cave, it’s in the sewers that Pennywise lurks in IT, Carrie reaches up from the grave in an iconic jump scare that’ll make you clench every time. That Pet Sematary’s characters place their loved ones underground and receive evil in return is certainly no random parallel.

ODEON says...

When Louis’ daughter Ellie goes exploring in the woods near their new home, she discovers a local landmark: the ‘Pet Sematary’. And those woods belong to something else. Something ancient. 

Things buried there don’t always stay dead – and they don’t come back the same. After tragedy strikes the family, Louis makes a rash decision with horrific consequences, and learns the hard way that sometimes dead is better. 

Adapted from the terrifying novel by Stephen King, ‘Pet Sematary’ stars Jason Clarke, Amy Seimetz and John Lithgow.

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