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Pet Sematary filmmakers explain that controversial change

**Spoilers for Pet Sematary**

The new trailer for the movie PET SEMATARY dropped yesterday, and while there were plenty of spooky things to shudder at there was one major takeaway that has fans of both the book and the original movie on the offensive. In this take on the classic story, it’s the young daughter Ellie who is killed and then resurrected, not the Creed family’s youngest child, the three-year-old Gage. This change will have a major impact on the story, and directors Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer and producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura opened up about why they think this change was necessary to bring their story to life.

In the original story, the toddler is run over by the speeding truck, causing Creed patriarch, Louis (Jason Clarke), to resurrect him by burying him at a mystical burial ground. What came out was NOT what he put back in, and in the 1989 film by Mary Lambert the small, creepy child wreaks havoc on the family. It certainly made for creepy imagery, but Widmyer said they wanted to try something new this time around.

“Much of how they shot the first [movie] was a doll. It’s creepy and it’s effective. But we’ve now seen Child’s Play and we’ve seen the little kid trying to kill, and it’s effective when done right, but …”

In the original story, the young Gage attacks and kills people despite his petite size, with the 1989 movie using a doll for the more extreme scenes. Without doing the exact same thing as they did in that movie there’s no way to do that realistically with a toddler. Kölsch adds that there will be more changes from the last movie but reaffirmed that for readers of the book it should all be quite familiar.

“There are things that we put back in that, if people didn’t read the book, they’re going to think they are things that we’ve changed [from the 1989 film]. ‘Why’d they make her say these lines?’ But if you read the book, these are things that are taken right out of it that just didn’t make it into the original movie because they probably couldn’t have a 3-year-old do it.”

Though initially nervous about making such a big change from the source material, di Bonaventura said its all in the name of giving audiences an experience they didn’t have while reading the book or watching the previous movie.

“Trust me, we were nervous about it. I feel this way about anything that you remake or update. If we gave you what you had before, we didn’t do the subject matter much good. I’m very protective of movies too, but I want a new experience each time, and feel like filmmakers have really thought about the choice. That was one, we thought, ‘All right, let’s make this choice.’”

 “Gage is so young, you can’t really do that much with him,” di Bonaventura says, continuing off Kölsch’s point. “So this way, we’re able to really get underneath our affected child. We’re able to get into the psychological horror of a child [coming back] because of her age.”

Whatever the change it's best to wait for the movie comes out to see how it plays before getting all upset. There are some logical points made about the physicality of a toddler and struggling to make that work. Lord knows the movie could suffer from the use of a CGI three-year-old, so perhaps it was probably for the best to switch things up for the sake of making the movie as scary as it can be. Really, children are scary in all forms, so there's no wrong route they could've gone. 

PET SEMATARY is in theaters April 5.

 

Source: EW

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