Published On: Fri, Apr 5th, 2019

Pet Sematary: Stephen King reveals REAL LIFE inspiration behind horror | Films | Entertainment

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The horrifying movie, out in cinemas this weekend, is based on the book that King himself has, on numerous occasions, called his scariest ever. With its themes of death and grief, it’s a deeply unsettling watch. And it came to the author after an experience in his own past.

In the story, the Creed family move to a house located near a particularly creepy cemetery which is able to bring species back to life.

The road near the Creed house is particularly important too: it is where the now-iconic family cat is killed, and it’s also where a major death occurs later in the film.

In 1979, King himself moved to a large house by a busy road, which his neighbour warned him had been the death of many animals.

That neighbour became the inspiration for the character of Jud, played here by John Lithgow; and there was also a pet cemetery behind the property.

“That book was pretty personal,” King said, according to The Telegraph.

“The sign on the tree just outside this charming little makeshift graveyard read ‘PETSEMATARY’.

“This phrase did more than just make it into the book, it became the title.”

He added: “I can remember crossing the road, and thinking that the cat had been killed in the road ─ and I thought what if a kid died in that road?

“And we had had this experience with my son Owen running toward the road, where I had just grabbed him and pulled him back.

“And the two things just came together ─ on one side of this two-lane highway was the idea of what if the cat came back, and on the other side was what if the kid came back.

“I had been galvanised by the idea, but not in any melodramatic way. I knew immediately that it was a novel.”

Pet Sematary, which has received glowing reviews, is set to become the next big horror hit of 2019.

Rolling Stone said: “Stephen King’s scariest novel comes back to life in a killer-diller chiller that will make you jump out of your seat.

“It’s the stuff of nightmares.”

The Wrap wrote: “Its terrifying story about death still leaves audiences with much to think about long after the credits roll, and the twists that lead to a new ending are fun to follow.”

And The Guardian called it a “brutally effective and convulsively disturbing story.”

Pet Sematary is out now.

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