Director Guillermo del Toro has brought several films to the big screen, many of which are suitably scary. For those who love his work, the good news is he has lots of other horrifying films he wants to make, such as an adaptation of H. P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness.
Pet Sematary has been adapted before. Twice, in fact, with the most recent one coming out in 2019 (pictured above). Del Toro knows this too, of course, but that hasn’t dampened his desire to make a version of his own.
“You know the novel that I would have killed to adapt, and I know there’s two versions of it, and I still think maybe in a deranged universe I get to do it again one day is Pet Sematary,” he said. “Because it not only has the very best final couple of lines, but it scared me when I was a young man. As a father, I now understand it better than I ever would have, and it scares me. A hundred times more.”
Pet Sematary is arguably one of King’s darkest books, including some extremely graphic images of (spoiler and content warning!) a child’s decomposing body. It’s this horrifying scene, however, that del Toro wants to make sure to include in his theoretical adaptation.
“For me, the best scene in that book is when [Louis] opens Gage’s coffin, and for a second he thinks the head is gone, because this black fungi from the grave has grown like a fuzz over the kid’s face,” he said. “I think you cannot spare those details and think that you’re honoring that book. One of the things I thought about Pet Sematary that we would do in post is when the dead return, when Gage returns, I’d spend an inordinate amount of money taking out the sheen from his eyes. So that the eyes are dull.”
The thought of a del Toro Pet Sematary adaptation makes me shudder. Whether he ever gets to make it, however, is uncertain, even for him.
Guillermo del Toro’s next film, Nightmare Alley, comes out on December 17, 2021.