Home Horror Entertainment News ‘Pet Sematary’ Producer Says New Film Isn’t A Remake

‘Pet Sematary’ Producer Says New Film Isn’t A Remake

by David N. Grove

How similar is the upcoming Pet Sematary film to the 1989 film? While it’s been widely-reported that the new film is a remake of the 1989 film, the new film’s producer says that this is not the case.

Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura says that the new Pet Sematary film has much more in common with Stephen King’s 1983 novel than with the 1989 film. “We’re not remaking the first film,” says di Bonaventura. “This film represents a much deeper exploration of the book’s themes. Our storytelling approach differs greatly from that of the original film.”

The new Pet Sematary film, according to di Bonaventura, is focused on the relationship between family and death. “We’re more insulated to death today than we were in the 1980s,” says di Bonaventura. “We hide from death, and when people in our lives get sick and are near death, we hide from them or send them away. How far are you willing to go, as a parent, to protect your family from death, to prevent it from happening, to fight it?”

Comparing the two films, di Bonaventura says that the new Pet Sematary film is much more psychologically-based than its predecessor. “This film is about psychological terror,” says di Bonaventura. “The story is emotional and feels very real. We embraced the surreal aspect of Stephen King’s novel, which is something that’s been overlooked in previous King adaptations.”

The filming of Pet Sematary was completed in June of 2018. The new film was directed by Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer, while the screenplay was written by Jeff Buhler. “When I mention the emotional aspect of the film, a lot of that comes from the three wonderful actors we have in this film,” says di Bonaventura, referring to Jason Clarke and Amy Seimetz, who play husband and wife Louis and Rachel Creed, and John Lithgow, who plays Jud Crandall. “They brought so much drama and emotion to their characters and the film, and I know that audiences are going to be very impressed. The filming went very well.”

The 1989 film version of Pet Sematary was a commercial success but a critical failure. “I look at the 1989 film somewhat critically,” says di Bonaventura. “The reaction to that film tends to depend on the age of the viewer. The younger generation tends to revere the original film, while the older generation looks at the film with skepticism, and I put myself in that category. We have a great script and phenomenal actors.”

Speaking of the new film’s script, di Bonaventura says that he was shocked by the reaction he received in Hollywood when the script was sent out to talent agencies for casting. “The feedback we got was that this was a great script, and our reaction was, ‘Yes. We think it’s good,’” says di Bonaventura. “The agencies told us that most of the horror scripts they received were really bad.”

Hinting at a possible sequel, di Bonaventura says that the new film doesn’t contain all of the events of King’s novel. “The entire book isn’t represented in the film,” says di Bonaventura. “I think it would have been a mistake to try and cover the entire book in one film. It’s the drama and themes of the book that were most important to us when we made the film.”

The new Pet Sematary film is scheduled to open in theaters on April 5