Pet Sematary Alternate Ending Is Much Sadder And Closer To Source Material


Everyone loves a good Stephen King adaptation, good being the key word there. This year’s remake of Pet Sematary was divisive, sitting at a measly 57% on Metacritic (although our own Matt Donato seemed to enjoy it). One of the major criticisms was just how far the film divulged from the book, which led some to claim the original 1989 effort was a better adaptation, at least in that regard. Be that as it may, in anticipation of the upcoming home video release of the remake, the directors have now shared the original, scripted ending, and you can check it out down below.

What changed, exactly? Well, in the film proper, during the climactic fight between Louis (Jason Clarke) and his re-animated daughter Ellie (Jete Laurence), Louis’s knocked out at one point, during which time Ellie buries her near death mother, Rachel (Amy Siemetz). Louis wakes back up and just before striking the killing blow on his undead progeny, Rachel kills Louis in a jump scare moment. Here, though, Louis does kill his daughter but, like in the book, chooses to reanimate the dying Rachel against her wishes.

Thematically, this works much better with the film surrounding it, rather than the disappointing, still depressing ending. Directors Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer may agree with me, too, as they said:

“We love both endings,” Widmyer says. “This ending is near and dear to us; it was the scripted ending.”

“It’s a sadder one, which is why we like it so much,” Kölsch adds.

I still wonder what made them decide that changing the ending so drastically was the best idea. They’d just had The Dark Tower come out less than a year before, certainly within the time frame of this film’s production. Could they have learned a lesson from that misfire?

Fans of Stephen King, and even the author himself, likes to adhere to the source material, even when it gets fuckin’ weird, like with IT‘s cosmic space turtle or even the, uh, event with the kids in the sewer that rhymes with “thundermage hangdang.” Cocaine ideas aren’t the best sometimes.

What do you think, though? Do you like the theatrical ending of Pet Sematary more than this alternate ending? Sound off in the usual place below.

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