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EXCLUSIVE: Haunting new Pet Sematary images show an even darker side of the Stephen King adaptation

Jason Clarke in Pet Sematary (2019)
(Image credit: Paramount)

Stephen King’s work has been a staple of cinema and TV ever since his novel Carrie was adapted in 1976, but if anything, Kingmania is at fever pitch now, thanks in no small part to the success of the It movie (opens in new tab).

On the horizon are The Shining (opens in new tab) sequel Doctor Sleep, a TV version of The Stand and of course It: Chapter 2 (opens in new tab), but next up is a new adaptation of Pet Sematary. The 1983 novel is revered as one of King’s best (and scariest), and was previously adapted by director Mary Lambert 30 years ago. It tells the story of the Creed family, who move into a new house in the countryside, having not been put off by the ‘Pet Sematary’ nearby (presumably not mentioned by the estate agent).

Dad Louis Creed learns that the burial ground has life-giving properties, and gives it a whirl with the family cat, which is just the start of the spookiness on offer. Jason Clarke (Terminator Genisys, (opens in new tab) First Man (opens in new tab)) stars as Louis, and you can take an exclusive look at him in the film’s creepy settings below, courtesy of our sister publication, Total Film magazine (opens in new tab). Have a peek for yourself below:

Jason Clarke in Pet Sematary (2019)

(Image credit: Paramount)

Jason Clarke in Pet Sematary (2019)

(Image credit: Paramount)

Directors Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer previously directed cult Hollywood horror Starry Eyes (opens in new tab), and they see Pet Sematary as a domestic drama that deals with grief. “I held off on reading the book because the back of the novel said the, ‘The most terrifying book ever written,’” Widmyer tells Total Film (opens in new tab). And when he finally plucked up the courage to crack open its pages and read it, aged 12, “It shook me to the core.” Kölsch agrees. “It’s not one of those Stephen King stories about killer chattery teeth, y’know? It’s a dark one, a personal one. It’s about human emotions.”

And what about leading man Clarke? “I read it in my early twenties,” he tells Total Film (opens in new tab). “Nobody does it better than King. The descriptions of what’s going on are just too much at times – you have to put the book down. I was really fucking disturbed.”

Pet Sematary opens in the US and the UK on April 5, 2019, and you can read a full on-set report in the new issue of Total Film magazine (opens in new tab), which hits shelves this Friday, March 8. For much more from the directors and cast, check it out. The issue also features an exclusive cover story on Godzilla: King of the Monsters.

Total Film magazine's Godzilla: King of the Monsters cover

(Image credit: Warner Bros/Total Film)
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(Image credit: Total Film)
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I'm the Deputy Editor at Total Film magazine, looking after the long-form features there, and generally obsessing over all things Nolan, Kubrick and Pixar. Over the past decade I've worked in various roles for TF online and in print, including at GamesRadar+, and you can often hear me nattering on the Inside Total Film podcast. Bucket-list-ticking career highlights have included reporting from the set of Tenet and Avengers: Infinity War, as well as covering Comic-Con, TIFF and the Sundance Film Festival.