Thursday, February 7, 2019

The Plot Twist in the New Adaption of 'Pet Sematary' Makes Sense to Me


Reading this article from EW helped me make sense of the plot twist in the new adaption of Pet Sematary, and I'm all for it.

From EW:

In King’s novel, the resurrected child doesn’t just physically attack the people who love and miss him — he plays savage psychological games and brutally taunts them about their fears and weaknesses.

He is not, after all, really Gage Creed but a malevolent, angry spirit that the burial grounds allow to inhabit that broken little body.

You can’t physically have that with Gage in a movie, K├Âlsch says.

“There are things that we put back in that, if people didn’t read the book, they’re going to think they are things that we’ve changed [from the 1989 film],” he says. “‘Why’d they make her say these lines?’ But if you read the book, these are things that are taken right out of it that just didn’t make it into the original movie because they probably couldn’t have a 3-year-old do it.”

Not only is it difficult to get a 3-year-old performer to do those things, but it’s also probably not right to try. A toddler can easily confuse fantasy and reality, while Laurence, who turned 11 during the filming last summer, was fully aware that the gruesome parts were make-believe.

“Gage is so young, you can’t really do that much with him,” di Bonaventura says. “So this way, we’re able to really get underneath our affected child. We’re able to get into the psychological horror of a child [coming back] because of her age.”

No offense to 3-year-old twins Hugo Lavoie and Lucas Lavoie, who alternate playing Gage, but in this version, they get to play sweet, sometimes scared, and sometimes sad, but they are kept away from both the road and scalpels.

The filmmakers felt the change would strengthen the story partly because Ellie’s sweet relationship with aging neighbor Jud Crandall (John Lithgow) was such an important part of the book.
Before the unthinkable strikes the Creed family, Laurence and Lithgow share funny, caring moments, which ultimately add depth to her untimely end (orchestrated in the trailer by her resurrected cat Church.)

Another powerful moment from Laurence is hinted at in the trailer: the hug she gives her shellshocked mother Rachel (Amy Seimetz) while her father Louis (Jason Clarke) tries to explain the unfathomable to his wife.

Laurence was able to play the hushed scenes, before Ellie’s darker side emerges, when she appears to be a scared child who doesn’t understand any of this either. Is this the real Ellie, struggling to speak around the sinister presence animating her? Or is it a calculated performance to lower their guard?

Either way, it’s not something the filmmakers felt audiences could easily believe from a toddler.

“There was something about an 8-year-old and the psychology that she would have,” Widmyer says. “She would understand what happened to her on the road. She would understand that she’s dead. She would know how to not only physically kill a person, but psychologically destroy them as well. It just gave another layer to it.'"

As you can read, it makes so much more sense to have Ellie Creed kick the bucket, rather than Gage. And it still seems to me that they are definitely going to be sticking closely to the novel.

I can't wait to watch this movie! April 5th!

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