Stephen King has written a lot of frightening books throughout the course of his five-decade career, but none are quite as viscerally disturbing as Pet Sematary. The 1983 novel is about a doctor that moves to the country with his young family and discovers a pet cemetery in the woods behind his house that somehow brings his dead cat back to life. When his son gets killed by a truck, he makes the horrible mistake of seeing if it works on humans.
The book was turned into a 1989 movie starring Dale Midkiff, Fred Gwynne and Denise Crosby and grossed $57.5 million. A shoddy sequel starring Edward Furlong and Anthony Edwards his theaters in 1992, though it wasn’t based on a Stephen King book and the author had his name removed from the credits. There’s been talk of remaking the original for years, but it didn’t get the green light until It (an adaptation of King’s 1986 masterpiece) stunned Hollywood by making over $700 million in 2017.
A short trailer for Pet Sematary was released in October, but here’s a much longer one where we finally catch a glimpse of what happens after the child returns from the dead. As John Lightgow’s character Jud Crandall learns, it is not pretty. “Sometimes dead is better,” he warns.
Pet Sematary is one of many King adaptation in the works, including Doctor Sleep, In The Gall Grass, The Breathing Method, The Long Walk and From a Buick 8. There’s also the sequel to It that’s coming in September and a limited series based on The Stand that is coming to CBS All Access.
Five years ago, King told Rolling Stone that Stand By Me was his favorite movie based on one of his books. “The movie was made on a shoestring,” he said. “It was supposed to be one of those things that opened in six theaters and then maybe disappeared. And instead it went viral. When the movie was over [the first time I saw it], I hugged [Rob Reiner] because I was moved to tears, because it was so autobiographical.”
He also loves Shawshank Redemption, Green Mile, Cujo and Delores Claiborne, but he still believes that Stanley Kubrick botched The Shining despite the huge cult that has grown around the 1980 movie. “Obviously people absolutely love it, and they don’t understand why I don’t,” he told Rolling Stone. “The book is hot, and the movie is cold; the book ends in fire, and the movie in ice. In the book, there’s an actual arc where you see this guy, Jack Torrance, trying to be good, and little by little he moves over to this place where he’s crazy. And as far as I was concerned, when I saw the movie, Jack was crazy from the first scene … And it’s so misogynistic. I mean, Wendy Torrance is just presented as this sort of screaming dishrag.”