Dennis Widmyer and Kevin Kölsch's remake of Stephen King's scariest novel Pet Sematary is coming our way next weekend. So far we have seen some killer trailers and TV Spots for the film, but this fan has been left wondering just why the hell they bothered to spoil the movie's big twist in these trailers. You know the twist I speak of at this point, the one where Ellie Creed is the one who meets her fate at the front end of the infamous Orinoco truck instead of little toddler Gage. So how do the movie's directors feel about the marketing team behind the scenes spoiling that twist right up front?
Well, the Starry Eyes co-directors recently sat down and talked a bit about just that, and let us all know that while they would not have revealed the twist if they had absolute power, they can see now why Paramount decided to go that route. Dennis Widmyer says this.
"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."
"I mean, people call it a twist. 'Oh! They spoiled the twist!' It's not a twist. I mean, we didn't spoil how the whole third act of the movie ends and we still haven't, and they have not done that. If anything, it's just an escalation. It's a reveal, so you get to really live in that moment of the emotion and sadness by not thinking that you're just seeing a surprise, shock moment."
"When you look at the trailer for the original movie, I mean, it shows that Gage comes back. So it's a plot point of the movie, so calling it a twist or not wanting to reveal that we switched the child - which we were on that team at first! We were like, 'Ah, let's keep this secret. It's gonna hit them so hard in the movie.' But then you're going like, 'Well then you can't really pitch what the whole movie's about in your trailer,' you know? Which was something that we learned in Starry Eyes as well because we didn't want to reveal in Starry Eyes ultimately what was gonna be Alex's sort of fate. So even our marketing team on that movie was like, 'Ok, so I don't really know what the trailer is. It's a girl who goes on an audition and people are weird.' Ok..."
Personally, I'm waiting to see the finished film before I pass judgment on just how I feel about the switch. After all, Gage getting the boot off this here mortal coil was the case in both King's source material and director Mary Lambert's original 1989 film, and I'm a mega-fan of both of those iterations. So will this new take win me over? I guess we'll find out next weekend.
Directed by Kolsch and Widmyer and based on the seminal horror novel by Stephen King Pet Sematary stars Jason Clarke, Amy Seimetz, Hugo and Lucas Lavoie, Jeté Laurence, Obssa Ahmed, Alyssa Brooke Levine, and John Lithgow. The remake has been slapped with an R-rating via the MPAA for "horror violence, bloody images, and some language" and it opens in theaters near you on April 5th. This conversation comes to us via Collider.