This is not a drill.

For the past few years, reports and murmurs about a possible reboot of the iconic horror film “Pet Sematary” have been floating around Hollywood’s horror scene.  And, well, the rumors are true.  The movie, based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name, is now currently in development.  In two exclusive interviews with Sean Decker, of Dread Central, the screenwriter attached to this project, Jeff Buhler (“Midnight Meat Train” and “Insanitarium”), shared that Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (“28 Weeks Later”) has been chosen to direct.

Buhler also disclosed the direction that they will be going with the film, which will veer in a slightly different direction than the original film: “The characters in this script make some tragic decisions,” he says, “and the horror is about the ramifications of those decisions…There’s still plenty of visceral horror that’s explored, but I’ve always felt that if you lean more into the characters and their emotional lives, when the visceral shit hits the fan, it’s ten times more scary.”

It seems as if, while Buhler and Fresnadillo are straying from the first adaptation, they are honoring the source text more closely.  If you’ve read the book, you know that the horror doesn’t lie purely in reanimated corpses.  The book is scary because it forces the reader to empathize with a father so overcome with grief at the death of his son, that he is willing to do literally anything to alleviate the pain.  The terror stems from the fact that, as readers, we are faced with the task of confronting our own sense of morality and relationship with death.

As much as we, as horror enthusiasts, tend to scoff at remakes and reboots, we should give this new imagining of Pet Sematary a chance to prove itself, both as a book-to-film adaptation and as a stand-alone piece of cinema.  Even if this new version lacks Achilles tendon cutting and a flashback featuring a young woman dying of spinal meningitis (arguably the most disturbing scene in the original film), don’t we at least owe it to the artists behind the project, and to ourselves, to give it a fair shot?

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