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Pet Sematary Directors Promise A Terrifying Return To Stephen King’s Novel

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If you’re a die-hard fan of Stephen King’s Pet Sematary and/or the 1989 movie of the same misspelled name, there’s a good chance you’re waiting anxiously for Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer (Starry Eyes) to complete their remake, which is currently slated for a 2019 release. As a horror film, the new adaptation’s success may be at least partly measured by its portrayal of the notorious Zelda, the late sister of Creed family matriarch Rachel (Amy Seimetz), who returns from the dead—to unsettling effect.

Thus far, the directors have chosen to keep the character under wraps, but they are confident that their approach will get the approval of King fans. “It’s more accurate to the book, I’ll just say that,” Widmyer told Entertainment Weekly. “In the original movie, it’s a 21-year-old guy in drag playing it, and in the book, as you recall, it’s a 10-year-old girl.” However, the directors have fond memories of the original film, so they had to reckon with the earlier portrayal of Zelda. “You go, ‘How do you top Zelda?’ It was big and scary and awesome. But if you think about the reality of the Zelda situation, what that would do to a family, with her wasting away in this bedroom, and a younger sister being frightened of her older sister’s debilitating illness, that on its own is pretty scary.”

The filmmakers determined that “the grounded nature of that horror would actually be scarier than a supernatural version of it,” said Widmyer. “The nurse, the medical equipment, what that room would feel like as a layer of dust went on everything.” The directors wanted to show “how that would seem from the perspective of an 8-year-old, going into that room to bring food to her, and how scary that would be.”

The Pet Sematary remake arrives in theatres on April 5, 2019. For more details, read EW’s first look article here—and check out the original Zelda (Andrew Hubatsek) below…if your dare.