Arguably one of Stephen King's creepiest tales, Pet Sematary is one of the many films that has been tossed around lately for talks of a remake. News broke this past summer that it was in the works, thanks to director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later), allowing fans of the book to rejoice.
The 1989 film adaptation of the novel left a lot to be desired in the eyes of fans and even King himself, who was quoted as saying:
"I think [star] Dale Midkiff is stiff in places. I think Denise Crosby comes across cold in places," King told Cinefantastique magazine in 1991. "I don't feel that the couple that's at the center of the story has the kind of warmth that would set them off perfectly against the supernatural element that surrounds them. I like that contrast better. I think it does what horror movies are supposed to do. It's an outlaw genre. It's an outlaw picture. A lot of the reviews have suggested very strongly that people are offended by the picture, and that's exactly the effect that the horror movie seeks."
Luckily for us, and Mr. King, the horror genre isn't such an outlaw anymore, and in good hands, this tale could be given its proper due. So, if this project gets beyond the discussion phase, and into the production phase, these are my choices to fill the roles of the six main characters of Stephen King's Pet Sematary.
Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence as Louis and Rachel Creed
As King said above, the Creeds are a couple in love, despite relocation for his job and the resistance of Rachel's family. They have a beautiful home and a fresh start in Maine, and the couple casted needs to reflect how close they are. To accomplish that you need a pair of actors that exude chemistry. For that reason I am choosing Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence.
Argument: The pair has been in four movies together. Each one that I have seen them in, was not only fantastic, but I bought their relationship each and every time. They are both such versatile actors, I think they could easily portray the role of simple couple, ripped apart by tragedy and grief. I believe that Bradley Cooper could easily portray Louis' struggle and determination to make his family whole again, while Lawrence could convey Rachel's horror and pain in a way that would feel genuine.
Jim Beaver as Jud Crandall
Jud Crandall is a lynch pin in this particular story, as he is the one who tells Louis what the burial ground is about. Jud is a bit of a curmudgeonly old man, yet takes a liking to the Creeds. Jud is a storyteller, and as such needs an actor who would be able to spin a yarn five miles long, and keep the audience enraptured. Who else could do that better than Jim Beaver.
Argument: No stranger to the horror genre after his stint on Supernatural as the adopted father of the Winchesters and badass hunter, Bobby Singer, Jim Beaver is also a veteran of the theater and has an IMDB page a mile long. His resume is filled with fascinating characters, and his life is full of experiences that lend him the authenticity needed to pull off this particular character. He is incredibly charming, but can pull off ruff and gruff at the same time. Whenever he talks, you should listen, just like the character in question. It's just too bad Louis Creed won't be convinced of that!
Evan Peters as Victor Pascow
Victor Pascow serves as the conscience of this particular story. He is introduced as a student in the area where Dr. Louis Creed is now an attending physician after being involved in a terrible accident. His injuries were too severe, and Louis was unable to save his life. In return for his valiant efforts though, Victor begins to appear to Louis, to try and warn him of the dangers ahead. Even though he's not a villain of the story, he certainly is one of the scarier elements, so the actor that gets this role needs to be able to amp up the creep factor ten-fold. For that reason, I choose Evan Peters.
Argument: Well, American Horror Story; that's my argument. I may not support the franchise any longer, but that doesn't mean its cast isn't badass. To the contrary, Evan Peters has always knocked it out of the park on every season I watched. He can be sweet, scary, lethal, caring and crazy. His portrayal of Tate Langdon in Season 1 of American Horror Story was enough to let us know that he could easily take on the role of Victor Pascow. Besides, I think Peters could seriously rock some horror makeup and be the things my nightmares are made of.
Kyla Kenedy as Ellie Creed
Ellie, the Creed's oldest child and only daughter, is an important character for the simple fact that...
she's the last one to survive.
In the novel and previous film, both of the Creed's children are younger, so casting this role proves to be a bit of a challenge. You need a young girl that can not only act, but that has the ability to appear much older than her years. Ellie was a smart kid who is also visited by the spirit of Victor Pascow. She needs to be a huge presence in a small package and for that reason, I chose Kyla Kennedy.
Argument: Kyla is a firecracker as an actress. She held her own against some seriously fantastic actors during her time on The Walking Dead, where she was also faced with some devastating scenes. Kyla is adorable, and could easily blend into the Creed family. Unless they choose to age the Creed children, I would say that this film could create a breakout role for this incredible young actress.
Kascee Murdock as Gage Creed
In the novel and the previous film, the youngest of the Creed children, Gage, was barely out of diapers. I think for this film to take on the tone that the new director wants to have, they may need to consider doing a little aging on this character. In an interview with Dread Central, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo says (in regards to the previous film):
...when a little kid comes back with a scalpel and is like, ‘I want to play with you,’ it kind of becomes Chucky. With this one, we really wanted to get into the emotional aspects of it.
The character of Gage is crucial to this story, so for that reason I chose Kascee Murdock to take over the role of the cutest little killer around.
Argument: Okay, honesty time. I can't say I know much about this young actor, but even though he's not been on this earth very long, he does have a few projects under his belt. If young Murdock can find his inner, creepy kid and pair that with his angelic face, I would bet money that most adults will be seeing him in their worst dreams.
There you have it! While all these picks are my opinion I feel that this cast, along with a really great screenplay, could resurrect this terrifying tale of loss and make it a bigger hit than the original.