Remakes are not inherently a bad thing. There are multiple ways to tell any story, and besides, with some movies, you’re not missing a whole lot just seeing the remake. So we’ll be curious to see what happens with Pet Sematary, apparently next to be remade.
Paramount has been knocking this idea around for a while; last we heard, a few years ago, Alexandre Aja was supposed to direct. He wound up making a movie with Stephen King’s son instead, and apparently this has been in limbo until they could find another European director to take over:
No stranger to ghouls and ghosts, 28 Weeks Later director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo looks ready to return to the horror genre as he’s in talks to helm Paramount’s remake of Pet Sematary. Lorenzo di Bonaventura is producing the remake to the 1989 horror classic along with Steven Schneider. Matt Greenberg and David Kajganich wrote the script.
Variety is calling it a “classic” because it made a lot of money; in truth the critical reaction was a bit more mixed. And there’s room for a remake of Mary Lambert’s original not least because it stumbled into the trap a lot of Stephen King adaptations suffer from; assuming the horror comes from whatever supernatural creature is in the book, not the characters. Pet Sematary is creepy because Louis, the protagonist, is so sharply drawn and his motives are so sympathetic. If you could bring back the ones you loved if they were taken from you… why wouldn’t you? Anybody who’s gone through the stages of grief can tell you skipping that entirely has a deep, disturbing appeal.
Properly cast, probably with Ethan Hawke since he seems unable to turn down any horror movie he’s offered, it could be a genuinely disturbing film. Fingers crossed that dead, in this case, isn’t better.