The Stephen King R-Rated Horror Thriller On Max Is a Must-Watch ’80s Classic

By Britta DeVore | Published

stephen king pet sematary

While book-to-film adaptations have been a staple in Hollywood for decades, there’s no denying that one author stands out as perhaps the writer to receive the most on-screen makeovers and now you can catch one of his most celebrated titles on Max. Stephen King lovers can rejoice as 1989’s Pet Sematary has risen from the grave and found a home on the platform among other terrific horror titles such as Ari Aster’s Hereditary and Wes Craven’s Scream 2. The movie, based on King’s 1983 novel of the same name, delivers on pairing the unsettling storyline with spooky visuals.

The Creeds

In Stephen King’s Pet Sematary, audiences meet the Creeds, a family of four who leave their bustling life in Chicago behind to take a breath of fresh air in Ludlow, Maine. It’s here that horror and tragedy fall upon the family after their youngest is killed in a terrifying accident. After discovering that an old cemetery has the power to resurrect the living, the family’s patriarch, Louis Creed (Dale Midkiff), takes matters into his own hands to bring his beloved son back but must face the disastrous consequences that come with it.

The Cast

Along with Dale Midkiff, the Stephen King adaptation also starred names like Denise Crosby of Star Trek: The Next Generation fame and Fred Gwynne–best known as the lovable Herman Munster in the classic and wholesome CBS show, The Munsters. Pet Sematary also acted as a foundational building block in the career of Miko Hughes, who played the family’s doomed son, Gage Creed, as he would go on to appear in such films as Kindergarten Cop, Spawn, and Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, as well as holding down a recurring role on the beloved sitcom, Full House.

Mary Lambert

stephen king pet sematary

The film was the second to come from director Mary Lambert who had previously made waves with her 1987 Ellen Barkin and Jodie Foster-led movie, Siesta. Understanding that she was picking up quite the task when she signed on to direct the adaptation of Stephen King’s Pet Sematary, Lambert was prepared to fight for what she knew would make the movie the best it could be. This included choices like pushing for Fred Gwynne’s casting, as the studio was afraid he wouldn’t be taken seriously in such a serious role.

The 2019 Reboot And Bloodlines

This version of Stephen King’s novel would be so well-loved by audiences that it spawned a sequel in 1992 that was, unfortunately, not as much of a favorite at the box office. Still, the legacy of Pet Sematary lives on as, in 2019, a reboot starring John Lithgow brought audiences back to Ludlow, Maine, and gave newer audiences a chance to see an updated take on the classic. Most recently, Paramount+ along with filmmaker Lindsey Beer dropped Pet Sematary: Bloodlines, a prequel film starring David Duchovny, Henry Thomas, and more in a story about what happened decades before the Creeds rolled into town.

Stream It While You Can

stephen king pet sematary

In case you haven’t seen Stephen King’s Pet Sematary come to life in feature-length form, now’s the time as the film is available for streaming on Max.