One of Stephen King‘s darkest tales is heading back to theaters to haunt audiences with its ghoulish delights. Starry Eyes filmmaking duo Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer transform King’s celebrated horror classic Pet Sematary into an updated rural gothic nightmare in the new Paramount adaptation, which sets aside the camp of Mary Lambert‘s 1989 film and goes right for the guts. King’s tale of mortality, grief and the undead — which was so dark the author famously almost never published it — gets a fully grim and grisly adaptation with Kölsch and Widmyer’s spin on the material, and it’s a fantastic balancing act that manages to re-invent the story in welcome ways while still honoring the tone (and the terror) of King’s novel.
On the heels of their SXSW debut, I sat down with Kölsh and Widmyer for a quick chat. We discussed how many Stephen King Easter Eggs you should be on the lookout for, taking liberties with the story, and the essential qualities of King’s classic that they knew they had to get right. Watch what they had to say in the video above and for more, be sure to check out Perri’s extended interview with the filmmakers and stay tuned for an in-depth spoiler discussion in the coming days.
Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer:
- What is the element of Stephen King’s work that they knew they had to translate to the screen?
- What was the one scene they knew they couldn’t change from the source material?
- How many Easter eggs are hiding in there for people to find?
Here’s the official synopsis for Pet Sematary:
Based on the seminal horror novel by Stephen King, Pet Sematary follows Dr. Louis Creed (Jason Clarke), who, after relocating with his wife Rachel (Amy Seimetz) and their two young children from Boston to rural Maine, discovers a mysterious burial ground hidden deep in the woods near the family’s new home. When tragedy strikes, Louis turns to his unusual neighbor, Jud Crandall (John Lithgow), setting off a perilous chain reaction that unleashes an unfathomable evil with horrific consequences.