The Movie & Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) has just given Paramount Pictures’ new horror thriller Pet Sematary a rating of R-16 With No Cuts, which means only movigoers sixteen-year-old and above will be allowed to watch the film in cinemas.
This also means the dark tale will arrive in Philippine theaters April 3 in its original terrifying version, pleasing horror fans and followers of author Stephen King whose novel of the same name was the film’s source material.
Director Dennis Widmyer has been quoted as saying, “We’ve refreshed some things, in the essence of the novel, but I would actually say that there might be more things from the novel that are gonna be in our thing. That everyone loves, fans love, that’s all I’ll say that are in the movie. That I’m shocked that they let us get away with.”
Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura chimes in, “Having tussled with the ratings boards more than I’d care to admit, when you have a child in jeopardy, which we have throughout this story, you’re automatically an R. I’ll say we’ve never had a conversation with the studio about it being PG-13. My feeling about rating in general is I think some movies really demand one or the other. In this case, I think you let it be what it is. And so, I would tend to want it to be R.”
The key to horror films is tapping into the audience’s deepest fears, according to director Kevin Kölsch. Creepy crawlers and demonic visitors have their place, but it is what lies within that is truly terrifying. “There are lots of great movies with far-out supernatural premises, and I enjoy many of them, but not necessarily for the same reasons this touched me,” Kölsch explains.
Producer Mark Vahradian agrees that the real horror is not the monsters that lurk out there in the dark but what despair can bring into the heart of a family. “A lot of horror movies are really only about the scares, but this one gets underneath these kinds of tragedies that befall families. That gave it another layer.”
Widmyer is excited to be part of what he considers the renaissance of Stephen King that is currently under way. “We are looking at his work with fresh eyes and realizing a different approach is warranted. I’m so grateful this has happened or we would never have gotten a chance to make this movie.”
In Philippine cinemas April 3, Pet Sematary is distributed in the Philippines by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures. #PetSematary
About Pet Sematary
Based on the seminal horror novel by Stephen King, Pet Sematary follows Dr. Louis Creed (Jason Clarke), who, after relocating with his wife Rachel (Amy Seimetz) and their two young children from Boston to rural Maine, discovers a mysterious burial ground hidden deep in the woods near the family’s new home. When tragedy strikes, Louis turns to his unusual neighbor, Jud Crandall (John Lithgow), setting off a perilous chain reaction that unleashes an unfathomable evil with horrific consequences.
Pet Sematary is directed by Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer (Starry Eyes) from a screenplay by Jeff Buhler (The Prodigy) screen story by Matt Greenberg based on the novel by Stephen King (It, The Shining). The film stars Jason Clarke (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes), Amy Seimetz (A Horrible Way to Die), Jeté Laurence (The Snowman), Hugo and Lucas Lavoie, and John Lithgow (Netflix’s The Crown).