How Is ‘Pet Sematary: Bloodlines’ Connected to the Original? Is It a Prequel, Sequel, Reboot or Remake?

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Hold on to your hats, horror fans, because we’re up for a treat this October! Paramount+ is producing a new Stephen King movie – Pet Sematary: Bloodlines. Now, you might think – how can it be new? We already have two of those, right? Well, Pet Sematary: Bloodlines will be a new twist to the story. So, is it a prequel, a sequel, a reboot, or a remake?

Pet Sematary: Bloodlines will be a prequel to 2019’s Pet Sematary. It’ll be set in 1969 and follow a young Jud Crandall who has aspirations to leave his hometown of Ludlow but instead discovers the mysterious pet cemetery and bands together with his peers to try and rid the town of the evil bestowed upon it.

When I say it’ll be a prequel to the 2019 story version, it doesn’t mean the cast and crew will be the same – rather, it’ll follow the same continuity. So far, we know that the movie was envisioned as a ‘collection’ of the stories and memories told by Jud Crandall to Louis Creed in Stephen King’s book, with a little extra on top. Here’s everything you need to know.

What is Pet Sematary: Bloodlines about?

pet sematary bloodlines dog

Pet Sematary: Bloodlines is a Paramount+ original movie set for October 6, 2023, release on the platform. It’s a new adaptation of Stephen King’s work – the most popular horror author ever. The story won’t be the same as the previous two adaptations of Pet Sematary, though, but several important characters will reappear in the film.

Set in 1969, Pet Sematary: Bloodlines will give us a look back into the history and lore of Ludlow, Maine, its mysterious pet cemetery, and the evil that lurks there.

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The story revolves around a young Jud Crandall who dreams of leaving his tiny hometown of Ludlow, Maine. Before he does, however, Jud discovers a mysterious local pet cemetery where pets come back to life after being buried in the ground at the site. However, they don’t come back quite as they were. No, something changes them. Something evil.

Jud decides to stick around and confronts his own family’s history, which is bound to connect him to Ludlow forever. Crandall and his childhood friends team up to try and fight the ancient evil that has been a plague of his town since it was founded.

Essentially, the movie will take place in the same town and area as the 2019 movie, Pet Sematary, only a few decades in the past. As far as we know right now, the only recurring character will be Jud Crandall, who appears in the 2019 movie and will be a central figure of Pet Sematary: Bloodlines.

Who is Jud Crandall in Pet Sematary?

pet sematary bloodlines jud crandall
Jackson White as Young Jud Crandall

Jud Crandall is one of the main characters in Stephen King’s Pet Sematary. Fred Gwynne portrayed him in the 1989 version of the movie, and by John Lithgow in the 2019 remake. Jud is the local man from Ludlow, Maine that introduces Louis Creed to the mysterious pet cemetery after his pet cat dies on a busy road next to their house.

Now, in Pet Sematary: Bloodlines, we’ll get to see a younger version of Jud, portrayed by Jackson White. Once again, he’s the film’s driving force, and we’ll see him discover the ominous cemetery and the evil lurking behind it.

Is Pet Sematary: Bloodlines a prequel, sequel, reboot, or remake of Pet Sematary?

By now, you’ve probably figured out that Pet Sematary: Bloodlines is a prequel to Pet Sematary, giving us a deeper look into Jud Crandall’s younger days and a much better understanding of the origins of the Pet Sematary and the lore behind the malevolent creature that lurks in the woods near it.

Although the 2019 Pet Sematary remake didn’t garner favorable reviews, it was a big commercial hit. After all, on numerous occasions, Stephen King himself said that he believes Pet Sematary was his scariest work ever. 

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Even in the prologue of the book, King explains how he, after finishing the book, put it in a drawer and said to himself – ‘you’ve finally crossed the line.’ It’s one of his most popular books ever among fans – so you can see why it had such great interest, amassing well over $100 million at the worldwide box office.

So, after the big commercial success of the 2019 remake, the movie’s producer, Lorenzo di Bonaventura, planned on making a prequel to explain the mythology and the universe of the 2019 film in more detail. The idea was set in motion in 2021, and now, we finally have a release date on our hands as well.

Now, you still might wonder, how is Pet Sematary: Bloodlines based on Stephen King’s book when he never actually wrote a prequel to the story? The movie is supposedly based entirely on the memories and stories of Jud Crandall, who, throughout the book, tells those stories and memories to Louis Creed in different situations.

Of course, the story will be ‘fleshed out’ by the writers, including the writer-director Lindsey Beer and writer Jeff Buhler, who also worked on the 2019 remake.

Pet Sematary: Bloodlines cast & crew

pet sematary bloodlines henry thomas
Henry Thomas as Dan

As we have already mentioned, Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Jeff Buhler are back at it as producer and screenwriter, respectively, after working together on the 2019 Pet Sematary remake.

The director, Lindsey Beer, will have her directorial debut with this film, and hopefully, Stephen King will be there to help the team keep the ‘spirit’ of his book where it needs to be.

The cast is also quite great – Jackson White will take on the role of Jud Crandall, whereas Henry Thomas and David Duchovny will portray Dan and Bill, respectively. Samatha Mathis plays Kathy, while Pam Grier takes on the role of Marjorie. You can find the full cast and crew list here.

When is Pet Sematary: Bloodlines coming out?

For all of us horror fans – especially Stephen King enthusiasts like myself – you’ll be happy to hear that Pet Sematary: Bloodlines already has a release date – and it’s coming in hot quite soon.

The movie will premiere on Paramount+ on October 6, 2023, in the US, Canada, Brazil, and Latin America, whereas it’ll be available on the international market a day later, on October 7, 2023. That means we’ll have a lot to enjoy this Halloween season, and I can’t wait!

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