Pet Sematary (sometimes referred to as Stephen King’s Pet Sematary) is a 1989 supernatural horror film and the first adaptation of Stephen King’s 1983 novel of the same name. Pet Sematary was directed by Mary Lambert and produced by Richard P. Rubinstein. The screenplay was written by Stephen King and starring Dale Midkiff, Denise Crosby, Blaze Berdahl, Fred Gwynne, and Miko Hughes.
In 1984 the film rights were sold to George A. Romero for $10,000. Romero eventually had to pull out of the production, as he was busy with Monkey Shines. The films Development Executive Lindsay Doran loved the finished script and advocated for it to be made at Embassy Pictures and then at Paramount Pictures. At the time she was told there was no demand for Stephen King films after the many of adaptations from his novels released in the early 80’s.
When Stephen King sold the film right it was stipulated that Pet Sematary was shot in Maine where the story was set. The films production was based out of Ellsworth and auditions held at The Grand theatre, where several hundred locals auditioned to be extras or for small spoken roles. Stephen King was very involved during the filming process and consulting with Mary Lambert frequently on her ideas for the story and any deviations from the script.
When Pet Sematary was released on April 21st 1989, it received positive reviews from the critics. On Rotten Tomatoes it currently holds a rating of 51% with the general consensus being, “Pet Sematary is a bruising horror flick that wears its quirks on its sleeves, to the detriment of its scare factor”.
Commerically Pet Sematary proved to be a financial hit achieving $57.5 million in grossed box office takings on a production budget $11.5 million. A sequel, Pet Sematary Two, was released in 1992 to poor reviews and a disappointing box office takings. Although it references the events of the first film, the sequel focused on all-new characters. Pet Sematary has acquired a cult following in the years since its release, and members of the cast occasionally appear at horror conventions to discuss it.
Year of Film
Dale+Midkiff, Fred Gwynne, Denise Crosby, Brad Greenquist, Michael Lombard, Miko Hughes, Blaze Berdahl
Origin of Film
Genre(s) of Film
Fantasy | Horror
Budget: $11,500,000 (Estimated)
Opening Weekend: $12,046,179 (USA) (21 April 1989)
Gross: $57,469,179 (USA)
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