It’s a young girl’s birthday in a small town. Family and friends have come to celebrate. What could possibly go wrong?
Since this is a scene in the new “Pet Sematary” movie, everything.
Death echoed throughout Stephen King’s 1983 novel and his adapted screenplay for the 1989 film. The latest iteration, now in theaters, follows a similar dreaded path, but the story has been revised to give audiences a fresh shock.
(Spoilers are forthcoming.)
Here’s what’s familiar. The Creeds are still the focus, having just moved from Boston with their children, Gage and Ellie, and cute cat in search of a quieter life in Maine. There’s still the ominous, dead-raising burial ground in the woods that will upend those hopes. Semi trucks speeding by still foreshadow doom. The death of the family cat still pushes the film into creepy places, and the death of a child still instigates the movie’s horrifying final act.
But here’s what’s different. Unlike the novel and the 1989 film, in which Gage, chasing a kite, is struck down by a semi, this time it’s Ellie’s death that fans may find jolting.
[Read our review of the new movie.]
The tragedy occurs at Ellie’s ninth birthday party. It’s already not a cheery affair, because she’s missing her cat, Church. But her spirits are lifted when she sees (an undead version of) Church and goes into the street after him. Gage follows her. Their father, Louis (Jason Clarke), runs to grab Gage as a truck bears down. The truck swerves and its chassis detaches, sliding down the street, striking and killing Ellie.
This shocking departure was at the heart of the plot when the remake was first pitched to Paramount by Matt Greenberg, a writer credited with the screen story. (The screenplay, incorporating Greenberg’s ideas, was written by Jeff Buhler.) In an interview, Greenberg said the reasons for the changes were “personal, textual and cinematic.”
On a personal level, Greenberg, who has three daughters, said he was drawn to the relationship between Louis and Ellie and the discussions they have about death. “I’d had a lot of those conversations with my daughters after pets died,” he said. “It’s something that really stayed with me.”
Looking closely at the text, Greenberg said, he saw “Pet Sematary” as the novelist’s “King Lear” and pointed specifically to Lear’s loss of his daughter Cordelia. Greenberg wanted to emphasize the heavy pain of that here.
And cinematically, Greenberg said, killing Ellie (played by Jeté Laurence), not the toddler Gage, would make for more menacing horror once she’s resurrected in her not-quite-living body and wreaks havoc: “I was thinking, an evil 2-year-old, yeah, that can be scary. But an older, more fully formed child makes it a more credible threat.”
So how did King feel about this change? One of the film’s producers, Lorenzo di Bonaventura, worked with the author on the 2007 screen adaptation of the short story “1408.” In an interview, di Bonaventura said that when his team gave King the script, “we all held our breath about the Ellie decision. But his answer back was simple and reassuring. He said: ‘Oh, I see why you made that decision. That’s a good decision.’”
King confirmed that in an email. “I thought the change was O.K.,” he wrote, adding: “Both versions — the old one, where Gage dies, and the new one, where Ellie dies — result in the same chain of events. I don’t necessarily think one version of the story is better, but I’m sure the directors found it easier to work with a girl zombie than with a toddler zombie.”
The filmmakers Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer were ready to go to dark places, having directed a creep-out movie-business horror satire called “Starry Eyes.” They amped up the gore and scare factor in some “Pet Sematary” scenes, but for the birthday party sequence, they chose to go in a different direction. The moment of impact isn’t shown, and the aftermath is relatively bloodless.
“We didn’t want it to be too graphic because we didn’t want blood or gore taking away from the emotion of the scene,” Kölsch said in a Skype interview.
Widmyer said building the suspense and surprise of the moment was akin to a magic trick, “a combination of sleight of hand and dread.” By presenting one perilous situation in Gage running for the street, and averting that tragedy only to create another, the filmmakers said they were aiming to emphasize the fatefulness of death in the material.
“The idea,” Widmyer said, “is that no matter how hard you might have tried to stop this from happening, it was meant to happen.”B:
第五十三期马报【今】【天】【的】【深】【圳】【有】【些】【冷】，【时】【曾】【穿】【着】【一】【件】【黑】【色】【毛】【呢】【外】【套】，【一】【条】【休】【闲】【裤】，【加】【一】【又】【黑】【色】【的】【皮】【鞋】，【头】【发】【往】【后】，【梳】【了】【个】【大】【背】【头】，【三】【十】【岁】【的】【他】，【看】【上】【去】【成】【熟】【的】【像】【四】【十】【岁】，【可】【脸】【上】【却】【只】【有】【少】【许】【痕】【迹】。 【看】【着】【他】【拖】【着】【行】【里】【箱】【进】【电】【梯】【的】【背】【影】，【乐】【小】【思】【看】【迷】【了】，【她】【追】【过】【去】，【从】【后】【面】【抱】【住】【他】，【身】【边】【脸】【贴】【在】【他】【背】【上】，【露】【出】【幸】【福】【的】【温】【暖】。 【突】【然】【电】【梯】【门】
【路】【上】，【云】【溪】【将】【早】【就】【准】【备】【好】【的】【解】【释】【告】【诉】【了】【张】【明】，【说】【是】【自】【己】【被】【老】【板】【看】【中】，【马】【上】【就】【要】【升】【职】【加】【薪】【了】，【所】【以】【动】【用】【了】【些】【存】【款】【重】【新】【租】【了】【房】.. 【巴】【拉】【巴】【拉】，【总】【算】【将】【张】【明】【哄】【骗】【住】【了】。 【也】【没】【有】【蹦】【人】【设】，【完】【美】！ 【接】【着】【云】【溪】【带】【着】【张】【明】【去】【了】【一】【家】【快】【餐】【店】，【这】【家】【快】【餐】【店】【生】【意】【很】【好】，【价】【格】【也】【很】【高】。 【但】【是】【云】【溪】【也】
【心】【意】【一】【动】。 【一】【道】【透】【明】【的】【光】【幕】【浮】【现】【在】【陆】【言】【眼】【前】。 【姓】【名】：【陆】【言】 【年】【龄】：【十】【七】 【寿】【命】：【四】【十】【七】【年】【七】【月】【二】【十】【五】【天】 【修】【为】：【锻】【体】【七】【层】 【技】【能】：**【罩】【【七】【层】】，【龙】【爪】【手】【【七】【层】】，【破】【阵】【刀】【法】【【七】【层】】，【摘】【星】【手】【【二】【层】】，【摘】【星】【步】【【四】【层】】，【黯】【然】【销】【魂】【掌】【【一】【层】】，【火】【云】【掌】【【一】【层】】，【疯】【魔】【棍】【法】【【四】【层】】，【血】【煞】【剑】【
【李】【岚】【修】【一】【口】【冰】【冷】【的】【洋】【酒】【灌】【下】，【摊】【在】【椅】【子】【上】。【缓】【缓】【的】【吐】【出】【了】【口】【气】。【觉】【得】【自】【己】【刚】【刚】【疯】【狂】【跳】【动】【的】【心】【脏】【得】【到】【了】【平】【缓】。 【其】【余】【三】【人】【都】【是】【差】【不】【多】【的】【情】【况】。【古】【神】【给】【他】【们】【的】【压】【力】【实】【在】【是】【太】【大】【了】。【远】【超】【他】【们】【的】【生】【命】【层】【次】【和】【那】【嗜】【血】【的】【眼】【神】。【让】【李】【岚】【修】【的】【心】【脏】【跳】【的】【和】【急】【鼓】【似】【的】。 【酒】【精】【的】【味】【道】【不】【是】【很】【好】，【李】【岚】【修】【喝】【了】【一】【口】【也】【就】【是】【应】【应】【景】。【特】【别】第五十三期马报“【那】【家】【伙】【一】【天】【都】【没】【消】【息】【了】，【手】【机】【也】【关】【机】【了】，【都】【不】【知】【道】【他】【在】【干】【什】【么】。” 【电】【脑】【荧】【幕】【发】【出】【的】【微】【弱】【光】【亮】【照】【亮】【了】【小】【哀】【微】【红】【的】【脸】【颊】。 【无】【心】【研】【究】【的】【她】【也】【并】【没】【有】【强】【硬】【的】【继】【续】【研】【究】【下】【去】，【她】【从】【椅】【子】【上】【站】【起】【身】，【脱】【下】【白】【大】【褂】【挂】【在】【了】【一】【旁】【的】【衣】【架】【上】。 【想】【了】【一】【下】【后】，【小】【哀】【拿】【出】【手】【机】【给】【柯】【南】【打】【了】【一】【通】【电】【话】。 【电】【话】【刚】【通】，【她】【就】【有】【些】【迫】【不】
【林】【一】【默】【这】【边】【冷】【不】【丁】【出】【声】，【此】【时】【正】【心】【烦】【的】【秦】【子】【俊】【自】【然】【没】【有】【明】【白】【他】【说】【的】【那】【个】“【我】”【字】【是】【什】【么】【含】【义】。 【过】【了】【几】【秒】【钟】【之】【后】，【他】【才】【好】【像】【意】【识】【到】【了】【什】【么】，【猛】【然】【看】【向】【他】，【一】【副】【的】【不】【可】【置】【信】，“【你】【打】【算】【向】【许】【念】【求】【婚】【了】？” 【林】【一】【默】【拿】【出】【手】【机】【看】【向】【自】【己】【的】【微】【信】【头】【像】，【仍】【是】【那】【年】【在】【大】【洋】【路】【偶】【然】【碰】【到】【许】【念】【时】，【他】【偷】【拍】【她】【的】【那】【张】【背】【影】。 【女】【人】
【四】【年】【后】 “【赵】【姐】，【这】【是】【你】【要】【的】【报】【纸】。”【一】【位】【十】【多】【岁】【姑】【娘】，【捧】【着】【一】【堆】【报】【纸】【放】【在】【桌】【上】，【擦】【了】【擦】【额】【头】【的】【汗】【珠】，【赵】【于】【心】【倒】【了】【一】【杯】【水】【递】【给】【她】“【辛】【苦】【了】，【喝】【点】【水】。” 【姑】【娘】【一】【口】【将】【杯】【子】【的】【水】【喝】【了】【干】【净】，【抬】【手】【擦】【了】【擦】【嘴】【巴】，“【不】【辛】【苦】，【那】【赵】【姐】【我】【走】【了】【啦】，” “【等】【下】。”【赵】【于】【心】【抱】【着】【一】【个】【小】【箱】【子】，【递】【给】【小】【姑】【娘】：“【这】【里】【面】【是】【一】【些】【吃】