Pet Sematary
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A Note Regarding Spoilers

The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Pet Sematary can be found here.

Yes. Pet Sematary (1983) is a novel written by American horror writer Stephen King. The inspiration for the story came from King's own experiences living on a busy road in Orrington, Maine. The road claimed the lives of a number of pets, and the neighborhood children had created a pet cemetery in a field near the Kings' home. King's daughter Naomi buried her cat "Smucky" there after it was hit, and their son Owen had a close call running toward the road, both experiences that played into the story. A sequel to the movie, Pet Sematary II, was released in 1992.

Doctor Louis Creed (Dale Midkiff) has accepted a position at the University of Maine's campus health center and moved his family -- wife Rachel (Denise Crosby), young daughter Ellen 'Ellie' (Blaze Berdahl), and baby son Gage (Miko Hughes) -- into a house in the country near a busy road. While exploring their yard, Ellie finds a path, and neighbor Jud Crandall (Fred Gwynne) explains that it leads to a pet 'sematary' where kids have been burying their beloved pets (often killed by the heavy traffic on the road) for years. When Ellie's cat, Winston 'Church' Churchill is killed by a truck, Jud reveals a secret burial ground behind the pet sematary that has the power of returning pets to life...but they often don't come back quite the same as before.

Stephen King misspelled it for the title because, in the book, the kids that made the sign for the pet cemetery misspelled it. King explains in a new introduction to the book that a real pet cemetery near his house in Maine had a sign reading "Pet Sematary." This misspelling (obviously made by children) found its way into the book and the title.

Many viewers think that Church was a Russian blue, but he actually was a British shorthair. Russian Blues are slimmer and sleeker while British shorthairs are more rounded.

Louis injected Church with morphine.

Missy Dandridge (Susan Blommaert) writes in her suicide note: "I am sure I have cancer. I cannot face the pain. Sorry"

It's explained in the movie that the sematary has 'gone sour' but that it was once used by Native Americans. The book gives more detail. It says that the Micmac Indians used the ground as a burial site, but it became the haunt of a wendigo, a bad spirit that could possess humans and turn them into cannibals.

Meningitis is an inflammation of the meninges, the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord, usually due to viral, bacterial, or fungal infection. Symptoms include headache, fever, and a stiff neck. Because of the infection's closeness to the brain and spinal cord, meningitis can be life-threatening or result in long-term complications such as those seen in Rachel's sister Zelda (Andrew Hubatsek).

How does the movie end?

Rachel is killed by Gage, and Louis buries her in the pet sematary. He gets back to his house and starts playing cards with himself. Then Rachel, covered in blood and dirt, walks through the door, her eyes gushing pus. Louis starts crying, and Rachel moans "Darling." The two start kissing passionately as Rachel reaches for a knife. It is presumed that Rachel is about to stab Louis in the side of the head when the credits roll.

Yes. He plays the minister at Missy's funeral.

According to those who have both seen the movie and read the book, the movie mostly follows the book, at least to the degree that it represents all of the major "happenings". It's far from perfect, though, because a major component of the book takes place within Louis Creed's mind and his slow dip into insanity following the death of his son and the visit to the true pet sematary. In the book, Jud has a wife. When his wife dies, Rachel reacts badly. Part of Jud's wife's role was used for Missy in the film, who had been just a minor character in the book. The movie has cut out a lot of what the spirit possessing the buried bodies is all about. In the book, an essential aspect is that it's an all-knowing and evil, crude and merciless in verbal level too, but the film chose to not point this out either in Timmy's or Gage's case. In Gage's case it's understandable though as the actor was far too young to speak such lines at all. The film also has the resurrected Gage all pretty baby, whereas in the novel, he's what a toddler realistically would look like after being hit by a truck and re-intacted to one piece before burying. Rachel's appearance is also different, and the book ends right when she says "Darling."

Page last updated by bj_kuehl, 3 months ago
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