You may not want to be buried there, but should hang around after Pet Sematary 2019 for an after-credits scene? The new horror movie is a readaptation of Stephen King’s 1983 novel, widely regarded as one of his scariest works. Pet Sematary had previously been translated to the big screen by Mary Lambert in 1989 (with a more violent sequel released in 1992), but this new version from directors Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer is a very different affair.
The core story of Pet Sematary remains the same: a doctor and his family move to a remote house in Maine with a woods hiding an innocuous pet sematary (sic) and a more demonic burial ground behind, and a main road frequented by speeding trucks up front. First, the family’s dead cat Church is brought back by the Wendigo that haunts the woods and then, after she’s hit by a truck, daughter Ellie. But, as Jud (Fred Gwynne in the original, John Lithgow in the remake) famously says, “sometimes dead is better“.
The new Pet Sematary diverges from the book and previous movie in some startling ways as it goes on, leaving the question of whether it’s setting up a potential sequel. But if there is going to be a modern Pet Sematary 2, the new movie doesn’t explicitly seed one: Pet Sematary 2019 does not have an after-credits scene.
However, that doesn’t mean you should just rush out after the chilling ending. Over the credits, a cover of The Ramones’ “Pet Sematary” by Starcrawler plays. It’s not as interesting as the original, but worth at least one listen.
The song, which played over Pet Sematary 1989’s credits, was written by Dee Dee Ramone after meeting King, a big fan of the band, and released alongside the film on the album Brain Drain. Although it wasn’t positively received by critics, the song became a cult hit thanks to the film, hence its return here. Starcrawler is an LA-based band who last year released their first, self-titled album.
To include something so overtly referencing the original Pet Sematary, even in the credits, is an interesting move by the remake, although it’s not the only time it tips the hat; the deaths of Ellie and Jud are both signposted with fake-out references to their counterpart moments in the 1989 movie. Beyond King, the film certainly isn’t above breaking the fourth wall in other ways either; John Lithgow nods towards his role as Winston Churchill in The Crown.
While there isn’t an after-credits scene for Pet Sematary, that doesn’t rule out the possibility of a sequel. The original movie got one, after all, and horror franchises are proven money-spinning hits. Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura has said that, while focusing just on this film for now, there is definitely room for a Pet Sematary prequel exploring previous uses of the burial ground (and likely expanding more on the Wendingo spirit).