Based on Stephen King’s scariest novel, Pet Sematary is a supernatural horror film franchise that is focused on attacking your deepest, primal fears – all while toying with the baffling concept of grief.
The novel was inspired by a house King was renting; it was adjacent to a major road where pets were often killed by oncoming car traffic. After his daughter’s cat was killed by a truck, he explained the death of the pet to her…still, imagining what would happen if the cat came back to life. It all seemed so “fundamentally wrong”, yet, he couldn’t stop thinking; what would happen if the same thing happened to a human being? In this article we’re letting you in on more of the interesting movie trivia, all while rounding it up with some concrete facts. Keep on reading more to find out the details!
How Many Pet Sematary Movies Are There?
There are three Pet Sematary movies in total. The supernatural horror movie franchise started in 1989 when Paramount Pictures released Pet Sematary (also known as Stephen King’s Pet Sematary). The movie had a loosely connected sequel entitled Pet Sematary Two, which, unfortunately, had poor reception. This didn’t stop directors from making a reboot though; a third installment entitled Pet Sematary was officially released on April 5, 2019.
Pet Sematary Movies in Order
Here are the Pet Sematary movies in order of release:
- Pet Sematary (Stephen King’s Pet Sematary, 1989)
- Pet Sematary Two (1992)
- Pet Sematary (2019)
While the list can still be considered pretty short, we are convinced it will only continue to grow in the following years! Keep on reading if you’re wondering about the best way to watch these gory existential movies, and if they are even connected.
What Is the Best Way to Watch Pet Sematary Movies?
The best way to watch the Pet Sematary movies is in order of release. Although it is not necessary to watch the first Pet Sematary movie to understand the sequels, we suggest that the movies be watched by the release date. Here’s why:
Often referred to as Stephen King’s Pet Sematary, the first adaptation of the novel is considered a classic in the supernatural horror movie sub-genre. Though there were some negative reviews by the critics, the overall reception was quite positive, deeming the movie strikingly well-told.
By watching the movies by the order of release, you will get to see cult classics, which will help you in navigating your opinion about possible new installments. Though, if you wish to, you can skip to the latest installment; it is serving as a reboot of the original movie, making it a second adaptation of the novel. The choice is ultimately yours.
Pet Sematary Movies in Order by Release Date
1. Pet Sematary (Stephen King’s Pet Sematary, 1989)
IMDb rating: 6.5/10
A grieving father discovers an ancient burial site nearby his home…with the power to raise the dead.
2. Pet Sematary Two (1992)
IMDb rating: 4.8/10
A father and his teenage son move to his recently-deceased mother’s hometown, where they encounter an ancient Native American cemetery that has the power of raising the dead.
3. Pet Sematary (2019)
IMDb rating: 5.7/10
This second adaptation of Stephen King’s seminal horror novel depicts dr. Louis Creed and his family move to a rural home, where they are enlightened about the eerie ‘Pet Sematary‘ located nearby.
Interesting Pet Sematary Trivia
The original screenplay of the first Pet Sematary adaptation featured a Native American demon, called the “wendigo”. The wendigo was originally mentioned in the novel, though it ended up being cut out from the film. Its presence is implied only twice; first, in the scene where Louis is walking through the woods at night and hears something, and, second, when Judd first takes Louis up to the Native American burial ground.
Stephen King is also an avid fan of the musical group called Ramones; he even referenced some of their songs in the novel. In homage, The Ramones also wrote and performed the theme song, “Pet Sematary“, which has been included in the film’s closing credits.
Are Pet Sematary Movies Based on a True Story?
Though not entirely based on true stories, King’s inspiration stemmed from actual real-life events – so, there might be more truth to the films than one might think. According to the introduction at the beginning of a new version of Pet Sematary (written in 2000!), the famed author explained that the idea for the story actually came to him while he was a writer at the University of Maine, in the late 1970s.
The house King rented was adjacent to a major, extremely busy road that has “used up a lot of animals“, according to his neighbor, Julio DeSanctis. The same neighbor also told the writer that there was a pet cemetery just behind King’s home – where other children in the area had buried deceased pets.
Eventually, his daughter’s cat, Smucky, saw the end of its life on that same road. While explaining thedeathd of a beloved pet to his young daughter, a train of thought came to his mind; what would happen if a family suffered the same tragedy, but the cat came back to life?
And, even worse, what if the tragedy happened to a child? To make things worse, Stephen King’s toddler-aged son also made a beeline for the road. Although being able to catch up to him, the experience made a long-lasting impression on him – which ultimately made him write the novel.
Are Pet Sematary Movies Connected?
Though based on the same Stephen King novel, we cannot say the movies are directly connected. The original Pet Sematary is loosely connected to Pet Sematary Two, while the third installment, Pet Sematary (2019) is the second adaptation of the original novel.
Will There Be More Pet Sematary Movies?
According to Horror Geek Life, Paramount announced that a new adaptation of the Pet Sematary found a new director, Lindsey Beer. Outside of that announcement, there hasn’t been much more saying; the movie will most likely end up being a prequel, or potentially – something else, instead.
“I think if there’s anything here, there’s a prequel. I think if you look at the book, we didn’t cover all that stuff that happens before the Creed family moves in. So, I think there’s a movie there, and I think I’d be particularly interested in doing that, because, again, it’s the source material and you are going toward something that also has a lot of crazy, creepy feelings about it.”-Lorenzo di Bonaventura, in an interview with Consequence of Sound
Where to Watch the Pet Sematary Movies?
You can easily find the movies online, ’round all the corners of the web. If you’re keener on renting or purchasing the movies, the original Pet Sematary movie can be found on Paramount Plus, The Roku Channel, Amazon Prime Video, Vudu, Redbox, and Apple TV. So, what are you waiting for?