PET SEMATARY Directors Explain Decision to Spoil Film’s Big Twist in the Trailers

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We’re mere days away from the release of Pet Sematary, the latest adaptation of the novel of the same name by Stephen King with Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer (Starry Eyes) directing. Still, it’s already been weeks since the trailers revealed the film’s biggest twist and a major deviation from the source material.

If you haven’t seen any of the trailers for Pet Sematary and like to go into films knowing as little as possible, turn back now and bookmark this page for after you’ve seen the film. Pet Sematary haunts theaters nationwide beginning this Friday, April 5th. If you already know what I’m alluding to, please proceed.

Of course, we’re talking about the death of Ellie Creed. In the book (and Mary Lambert’s 1989 film adaptation) it was Gage Creed who died. So why did the trailers reveal such a major plot twist, one that surely would have left moviegoers gobsmacked? The question was posed to the directors by Collider journalist Perri Nemiroff at SXSW, where the film premiered last month.

In a nutshell, it wasn’t their idea to reveal the twist, but there was a reason behind the decision. Here’s what Widmyer told Collider:

“Yeah, we would not have done that, but we don’t work in marketing. But I will say though, to their credit, that we tested the film in a bunch of different cities, as you always do with studio films, and our score went up after the trailer was revealed. I’m not saying it was because of that. We had made the movie better obviously in between, but I don’t know. There is something to be said about people sort of knowing going in already what to expect and then being ready for it rather than blindsided by it if they’re not into it.”

He added:

“It’d be great to live in an alternate reality where it was different and to see how people responded to it, but I don’t know. Let’s say you were into the movie the whole time and you were enjoying the movie, but in your heart of hearts you were waiting for Gage to die. And then, in that moment, he didn’t die. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’re gonna go, ‘Oh my god! Wow, they got me!’ You might just go, ‘F this. I don’t want that,’ you know?”

Check out the synopsis and trailer for Pet Sematary below. The film stars Jason Clarke, John Lithgow, and Amy Seimetz.

Dr. Louis Creed and his wife, Rachel, relocate from Boston to rural Maine with their two young children. The couple soon discover a mysterious burial ground hidden deep in the woods near their new home. When tragedy strikes, Louis turns to his neighbour Jud Crandall, setting off a perilous chain reaction that unleashes an unspeakable evil with horrific consequences.

Do you think the twist involving Ellie Creed should have been kept a secret (as opposed to being revealed in the trailer)? Are you excited to check out Pet Sematary this weekend? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!