“Pet Sematary: Bloodlines,” directed and co-written by Lindsey Anderson Beer, invites audiences to unravel the twisted threads of Stephen King’s notorious narrative, focusing particularly on the enigmatic character, Jud Crandall, played by Jackson White. The film, serving as a sinister prequel to the 2019 adaptation and King’s original novel, delves deep into the heart of Ludlow’s malevolent pet cemetery, exploring realms previously untouched and inviting audiences to wonder: where does this evil originate?
Jud Crandall’s Shadows
In “Pet Sematary: Bloodlines,” we witness the younger days of Jud Crandall, as the story investigates how he became intertwined with Ludlow and its ominous pet cemetery. This exploration marks a divergence from the original tales, which provided only fleeting glimpses into Crandall’s past, allowing Beer to guide us through uncharted territories of horror and despair, narratively rich and laden with foreboding.
Lindsey Beer’s Vision for the Franchise
Lindsey Anderson Beer has vocally expressed a passionate interest in expanding the “Pet Sematary” universe. In her conversation with GamesRadar, she commented, “You could do so many movies within the Pet Sematary universe that peel back the onion more and show more and more of what this evil really is, and really comes from…” This clearly reflects her vision of a wider, more complex narrative world, potentially with future sequels exploring the ominous origin stories lurking in the shadows of Pet Sematary.
A Franchise Reborn?
The future of the Pet Sematary franchise hinges heavily on the reception and performance of “Pet Sematary: Bloodlines.” Its debut on Paramount+ this Halloween season, without the backing of box office numbers due to its streaming release, makes it challenging to assess its success. However, the eerie allure of a Stephen King adaptation may serve as a magnet for horror enthusiasts, potentially breathing new life into the series.
Early Reception and Stephen King’s Approval
The film’s premiere at Fantastic Fest on September 23 has elicited a range of reactions, with current Rotten Tomatoes scores teetering at 23%. The discrepancy between critics’ and audience scores and contrasting reviews have highlighted the divisive nature of the film. While some lambast it for its perceived unnecessary depth and deviation from King’s original narrative, Stephen King himself has commended the film as a “fine story,” acknowledging the creative liberties taken by the creators.
The Risk of Expansion
Lindsey Beer’s ambitious attempt to broaden the narrative horizons of King’s universe is evident, but it raises the question: has “Pet Sematary: Bloodlines” ventured too far from its roots? Beer’s reluctance to delve too deeply, possibly reserving narrative elements for future installments, has left some viewers questioning the necessity of the prequel. It is now a waiting game to see whether the film’s bold endeavors and unexplored narratives hold enough appeal to realize Beer’s expansive vision for the franchise.
“Pet Sematary: Bloodlines” paints new strokes on Stephen King’s canvas of horror, exploring untold backstories and undelved evils, with Lindsey Beer at the creative helm. Its reception will be the ultimate determinant of the franchise’s path forward, and only time will tell if the haunting whispers of Ludlow’s pet cemetery will echo again in future tales.