‘Pet Sematary’ Director Mary Lambert Directing Mermaid Thriller ‘Rolling in the Deep’

Mary Lambert, who directed the initial adaptation of Stephen King’s Pet Sematary, is getting behind the camera for Mira Grant’s mermaid thriller Rolling in the Deep for Branded Pictures Entertainment, Variety says.

The story revolves around an idealistic young filmmaker who sets out to the Mariana Trench with a small crew to film a faux documentary about mermaids. But the hoax soon turns real as sailors begin to disappear and the filmmaker realizes that they are under siege by actual mermaids. A fight to survive at any cost ensues.

Sean Hood, whose credits include Conan the Barbarian and Halloween: Resurrection, will adapt the novel, published in 2015.

“‘Rolling in the Deep’ is a film led by complicated badass female characters,” Lambert said.

“I’ve been waiting to make a film like this my entire career. Our mermaids are not cliché sugary cartoon princesses; they will take you down if you stand in their way.”

The Bye Bye Man director Stacy Title will executive produce and BPE director of development Thomas Pettinelli will co-produce. Filmmakers are aiming for production in 2019.

“The story has elements of The Shallows, 47 Meters Down,’ Dead Calm, and even Alien,” BPE executive Marc Marcum, who discovered the book, said.

“It is meant to be the definitive adaptation of the original mermaid myth that goes back to the dawn of civilization.”

Mira Grant is a pseudonym for Seanan McGuire, who has credits on nearly 40 novels, and numerous novellas and short stories since 2009. She is also currently writing comics for Marvel’s “Spider-Gwen” and “X-Men” series.

Who Did It Best? These 10 Filmmakers All Directed Multiple Stephen King Movies

On September 6th, 2019, IT: Chapter Two will arrive in US theaters and Andy Muschietti will join an extremely small and elite group; when The Shining sequel Doctor Sleep hits US theaters on January 24th, 2020, Mike Flanagan will also qualify for entry. They’ll become the newest filmmakers who can boast having directed more than one film adaptation of a Stephen King novel.

While King holds the record as the author with the most cinematic adaptations of his literary works (over 100 and counting) few filmmakers have taken more than a single stab at adapting the Master of Horror. This poses a question: Are directors who have helmed more than one King adaptation better at tapping into the inherent horror of the author’s work? And, if so, which filmmaker has proven him or herself the best at translating King’s stories from the page to the screen?

While it’s ultimately a matter of personal opinion, these prolific Stephen King moviemakers deserve some recognition for their efforts. Read on for a list of which directors can claim to have taken on King adaptations on multiple occasions. Then ask yourself: Who did it the best!

Craig R. Baxley

Though he can boost having directed over 30 films, Craig R. Baxley is actually best known these days as a stunt coordinator having worked on hundreds of movies and TV shows. As for his Stephen King adaptations, they’re all made-for-TV affairs, the first being the Storm of the Century miniseries that aired in 1999; that was followed by another mini-series, Rose Red in 2002. His final King-adaptation to date is the prequel to Rose Red, the made-for-TV movie The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer, which aired in 2003.

Mary Lambert

I may be splitting hairs with Mary Lambert’s inclusion; while her first adaptation, 1989’s Pet Sematary, remains one of the most terrify King-inspired films ever produced, her follow up, Pet Sematary II (released in 1992) is an expansion of existing mythologies in name only. As opposed to Doctor Sleep which is an official sequel to The Shining, Pet Sematary II involves characters and situation King had no part in constructing. Still, Lambert and Craig R. Baxley (above) are the only ones to have directed a King-adaptation and its direct sequel or prequel. These days, Lambert is working on a restoration of 1989’s Pet Sematary with Paramount.

Lewis Teague

Lewis Teague directed a couple of early Stephen King adaptations in rapid succession: First, he helmed Cujo in 1983 and, two years later, he released Cat’s Eye in 1985. Though he also directed the urban legend-themed Alligator in 1980 (not a Stephen King story), these are pretty much the only horror films Teague have ever been involved in. I guess he was the go-to guy for horror movies featuring animals!

Tom Holland

You win some and you lose some. While Tom Holland (Fright Night, Child’s Play) produced a cult classic with the harrowing body-horror Thinner (released in 1996) he also helmed the much-maligned miniseries The Langoliers a year earlier. While The Langoliers is, in many ways, a product of its era (suffering immensely from a shoe-string budget and extremely dated special effects), even a talented ensemble cast couldn’t give this airplane-horror any significant lift.

Tobe Hooper

Tobe Hooper’s Salem’s Lot was such a successful miniseries in 1979, it was recut for a theatrical release overseas. Though often forgotten, Salem’s Lot includes some powerful scares that still carry significant weight today (specifically, the vampire child floating outside his brother’s window and the awakening of the undead Mr. Barlow). As well-known as Salem’s Lot is, The Mangler, released in 1995, isn’t. The story of a possessed laundry folding machines (no, seriously) isn’t even bolstered by the appearance of two bona fide horror icons: Robert Englund (who plays Freddy Krueger in the Nightmare on Elm Street movies, and Ted Levine who played Buffalo Bill in The Silence of the Lambs). Even hardcore Stephen King fans (like myself) have never bothered giving The Mangler the time of day.

J.J. Abrams

While Bad Robot Studios founder J.J. Abrams hasn’t directed any Stephen King adaptations per se, he’s served as executive producer on two Hulu series based on the works of Stephen King. The first was 11.22.63 which aired in 2016; it’s the story of a high school history teacher who goes back in time in an attempt to thwart the assassination of JFK. The second Abrams-produced series is this years’ Castle Rock, which he developed with King himself. Though not based on a specific novel or short story, it pulls from the mythos of Castle Rock, a fictional town in Maine where many of King’s stories take place. Parts of the series took place at Shawshank Penitentiary and we’re even introduced the niece of Jack Torrance.

George A. Romero

Creepshow (released in 1982) remains one of the best horror anthologies ever produced, and much of the film’s success comes from George A. Romero’s impeccable direction. The fact that “The Godfather of the Modern Zombie” collaborated with Stephen King at all is a thing of beauty and Creepshow shines with the duo’s combined creative energies. Romero’s second film adaptation was 1993’s psychological slasher The Dark Half. While few horror films produced in the 1990s have aged well, The Dark Half has nonetheless amassed an enviable cult following in the decades since its release.

Rob Reiner 

Rob Reiner is a cinematic treasure who launched his career with hysterical comedies like This Is Spinal Tap and When Harry Met Sally. But the mainstream director wasn’t squeamish or reticent in his harrowing adaptations of Stand by Me and Misery. The first was shocking for it’s penetrating portrayal of the horrors of youth while Misery was an exercise in relentless suspense with explicit body horror elements. None of us will ever forget the infamous “hobbling” scene, a moment that that helped Kathy Bates nab her Best Actress Oscar in 1991.

Frank Darabont

Before he became an early writer and showrunner on The Walking Dead, Frank Darabont was (and perhaps remains) the King of Stephen King adaptations. Between 1994 and 2007, Darabont directed three of the most emotionally devastating movies—ever. First came The Shawshank Redemption in 1994 (a film that found fans in connoisseurs of just about every genre) followed by the socially-conscious The Green Mile in 1999. 2007’s The Mist is regarded as one of the best Stephen King adaptations ever produced and one of the best horror movies of the 21st Century; the gut-wrenching climax is infamous.

Mick Garris

While we’ve got to tip our hats to Mick Garris for directing a whopping seven Stephen King adaptations, far more than anyone else on this list, none of them are amazing. But Garris helmed 1997’s The Shining miniseries, one that King himself hailed for being much truer to the source material than Stanley Kubrick’s iteration from 1980. Other King properties in Garris’ filmography include Sleepwalkers, Riding the Bullet, The Quicksilver Highway, and Desperation in addition to the miniseries The Stand and Bag of Bones.

So, which of these 10 directors did Stephen King best? Sound off in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram!

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Mary Lambert Spearheading Restoration of Original PET SEMATARY

Sometimes, remakes are better—but you’ve got to respect the originals!

With a new cinematic adaptation of Stephen King’s Pet Sematary arriving in theaters next April, chances are the first one will be getting renewed attention. While some aspects of that film haven’t aged well, most horror aficionados still regard 1989’s Pet Sematary as a terrifying masterpiece, one that reigns as one of the most arresting supernatural shockers of the 1980s.

It’s timely, then, that original Pet Sematary director Mary Lambert is currently spearheading a restoration with Paramount Pictures. The lauded filmmaker made the announcement via Twitter:

“I spent #FemaleFilmakerFriday working at @ParamountPics on the restoration of Pet Sematary. HDR Color Grading & Dolby Vision. Looks gorgeous!! Their team is amazing! I’d love to direct another project for Paramount one day. Xo”

We haven’t gotten an official announcement, meaning we don’t have a release date or an inkling of potential special features, but we’ll keep our eyes peeled for further updates. Stay tuned! In the meantime, check out the synopsis and trailer for 1989’s Pet Sematary below, followed by the synopsis and trailer for 2019’s Pet Sematary. Enjoy!

Doctor Louis Creed (Dale Midkiff) moves his family to Maine, where he meets a friendly local named Jud Crandall (Fred Gwynne). After the Creeds’ cat is accidentally killed, Crandall advises Louis to bury it in the ground near the old pet cemetery. The cat returns to life, its personality changed for the worse. When Louis’ son, Gage (Miko Hughes), dies tragically, Louis decides to bury the boy’s body in the same ground despite the warnings of Crandall and Louis’ visions of a deceased patient.

Dr. Louis Creed and his wife, Rachel, relocate from Boston to rural Maine with their two young children. The couple soon discover a mysterious burial ground hidden deep in the woods near their new home. When tragedy strikes, Louis turns to his neighbor Jud Crandall, setting off a perilous chain reaction that unleashes an unspeakable evil with horrific consequences.

Pet Sematary is directed by Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer and stars Jason Clarke, John Lithgow, and Amy Seimetz.

Are you a fan of 1989’s Pet Sematary? Are you looking forward to the new adaptation arriving in US theaters next April? Sound off in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram!

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Director Mary Lambert is Working With Paramount on Restoration of the Original ‘Pet Sematary’

With Dennis Widmyer and Kevin Kolsch’s new adaptation of Pet Sematary headed our way next year, you may be wondering if we’ll be getting a brand new home video release of the original film to go along with it. It seems like we will be, we’re happy to report today, as director Mary Lambert tweeted over the weekend that Paramount is working on a restoration!

Lambert first tweeted, “Working with Paramount to create HDR version of original Pet Sematary. It looks amazing.”

She subsequently added, “I spent #FemaleFilmakerFriday working at on the restoration of Pet Sematary. HDR Color Grading & Dolby Vision. Looks gorgeous!! Their team is amazing! I’d love to direct another project for Paramount one day.”

Presumably, we’ll be getting a 4K Ultra HD release next year. Stay tuned!

[It Came From the ’80s] The Traumatic Nightmare of Zelda in ‘Pet Sematary’

With horror industry heavy hitters already in place from the 1970s, the 1980s built upon that with the rise of brilliant minds in makeup and effects artists, as well as advances in technology. Artists like Rick Baker, Rob Bottin, Alec Gillis, Tom Woodruff Jr., Tom Savini, Stan Winston, and countless other artists that delivered groundbreaking, mind-blowing practical effects that ushered in the pre-CGI Golden Age of Cinema. Which meant a glorious glut of creatures in horror. More than just a technical marvel, the creatures on display in ‘80s horror meant tangible texture that still holds up decades laterGrotesque slimy skin to brutal transformation sequences, there wasn’t anything the artists couldn’t create. It Came From the ‘80s is a series that will pay homage to the monstrous, deadly, and often slimy creatures that made the ‘80s such a fantastic decade in horror.

In an era of fantastic practical effect driven horror that unleashed many memorable movie monsters, few instilled as many nightmares as Pet Sematary’s Zelda Goldman. An adaptation of one of Stephen King’s most beloved novels, there’s no shortage of monstrous horror in Pet Sematary thanks to a cursed Micmac burial ground that renders those buried in it undead and murderous. Yet, it’s the haunted memories of Rachel Creed (Denise Crosby), forced in childhood to care for her dying sister that struck the biggest chord with audiences. Zelda was a horrifying scene stealer, and considering the gore effects on display, that’s quite an accomplishment.

Relegated mostly to flashbacks, Zelda was the Goldstein family’s 13-year-old dirty little secret. Older sister to then 8-year-old Rachel, Zelda suffered from spinal meningitis, a disease that caused Zelda’s spine to painfully deform as she wasted away in the back bedroom physically and mentally. It was the reason that Rachel had such deep-seated issues about death; she was the one forced to care for her sister the fateful day Zelda finally succumbed to her illness. Fearful of contracting Zelda’s disease as much as death itself, Zelda’s memory terrifies Rachel even through her adulthood, and ours.

In the 1989 adaptation, Zelda was designed by special makeup effects designer Lance Anderson (The Serpent and the Rainbow, Shocker). Anderson researched meningitis and the effects on the body when creating the makeup design for the character, ensuring the spine was contorted and the face emaciated. But Zelda is a character that proves it takes two major components to creating a memorable movie monster; great makeup design and an actor that breathes life into it.

Originally, the role was envisioned to be played by a female; the character was a young girl after all. But director Mary Lambert wasn’t happy with the auditions for the part, the girls auditioning were simply too sweet and not creepy enough. So she decided to cast a wider net. Enter actor Andrew Hubastek, who was in his twenties at the time and had strong convictions of who he wanted this character to be. The voice, the physicality, and Anderson’s design all culminated in a character so off-putting and horrifying that it didn’t matter how small the character was to the plot; Zelda was pure nightmare fuel.

Casting Hubastek turned out to be more than just fortuitous on screen. The makeup process for the character was much more laborious than a child would likely have been able to handle. The process took at least 8 hours of application of the back and upper chest pieces, as well as the face and hands, that had been glued on by two makeup artists. Never mind that this was shot in Maine during the fall, so it was already chilly during the application process. Or that Hubstek filmed his scenes for upwards of 18 hours before having to endure a 6-8-hour makeup removal process. It was an exhaustive process that left him ready to rip the prosthetics off his skin, and likely contributed to an effectively chilling performance.

Anderson’s work on Pet Sematary is amazing. It was his idea to up the ante on Jud’s demise; the script called for Gage to simply slice Jud’s leg, so Anderson instead pushed for the brutal Achilles’ tendon severing. His work on Rachel’s oozing eye socket is also cringe-worthy in the best possible way. But for all of the gore and creepy undead on screen, it’s Zelda that’s most fondly remembered. There’s an irony in that, both in how small Zelda’s role is in the story and that this movie monster was birthed from a very real disease. It’s easy to see why this iteration of Zelda left such a lasting mark, though. Between Anderson’s design and Hubastek’s unnerving performance, Zelda is a monster for the ages.

‘Pet Sematary’ Director Mary Lambert Prepping ‘Darlene’

Some news came across my desk that Pet Sematary director Mary Lambert is currently prepping a new thriller for Rogue Wave Films and the information checks out on IMDb.

While there are no details available, I was able to find out that Darlene is a wannabe internet star who goes on the run after the murder of her close friend.

There are no other details at this point, but it’s exciting to see Lambert getting back behind the camera for something genre. Recently, she’s filmed episodes of “Arrow”, “The Blacklist” and “Step Up”. She previously directed the Pet Sematary sequel as well as Urban Legends: Bloody Mary.

Zena’s Period Blood: What’s Buried in PET SEMATARY 2?

It can be difficult finding horror films of quality, so allow me to welcome you to your salvation from frustration. “Zena’s Period Blood” is here to guide you to the horror films that will make you say, “This is a good horror. Point blank. PERIOD.”

“Zena’s Period Blood” focuses on under-appreciated and hidden horror films.

In 1989, director Mary Lambert and author Stephen King blessed us with the film Pet Sematary, a horror that exhibited undying love, literally. Paramount Pictures, determined to capitalize on this success, pinned writer Richard Outten to construct the sequel’s screenplay. The cast populated with big names of the time: Edward Furlong (Terminator 2), Anthony Edwards (Revenge of the Nerds), Clancy Brown (Highlander), and Darlane Fluegal (Once Upon a Time in America). The result was a sequel that Stephen King detached his name from, but that I attached my young existence to. For me, Pet Sematary II does exactly what its poster claims: Raises some hell.

After actress Renee Hallow (Darlane Fluegel) is accidentally electrocuted to death on the set of her movie, husband Anthony Edwards (Chase Matthews) moves with his teenage son Jeff (Edward Furlong) to Ludlow, Maine, Renee’s hometown. Here, Jeff befriends schoolmate Drew (Jason McGuire) but tries to avoid Clyde (Jared Rushton). Wielding all the makings of a jerk, Clyde hosts a get-together at Micmac burial ground and gabs about an ancient Indian ritual believed to bring any deceased buried here back to life. Skepticism spreads. But after the resurrection of Drew’s dog, Zowie, and Drew’s stepfather, Gus (Clancy Brown), Jeff attempts to revive his mother. Her resurrection, regrettably, comes with her new credence: Dead is BETTER!

Solid performances enriched the predictable screenplay. Furlong was notorious in the 90s as the child actor who effortlessly embodied a troubled adolescent. Here, he pulled it off again, brilliant even across Clancy Brown, who steals spotlights wherever and whenever he pleases. Recently, I discovered that Furlong and Brown’s character might not have been part of the original idea for the sequel. A rumor surfaced that director Lambert conceptualized Ellie Creed (sole survivor from the original Pet Sematary) to be the central character. However, the studio nixed the idea, skeptical at the time that a teenage female lead could allure high ticket sales. I hope to see that version one day.

Russell Carpenter excelled as the cinematographer, cascading daylight over adrenaline filled scenes or casting moonlight on the silhouettes of forlorn characters. Above all, his close-ups appealed to the heart, bestowing insights into the character’s thoughts (or lack thereof). Through the years, Carpenter has grown as a cinematographer with films such as Ant-man, Avatar 2 and 3, Charlie’s Angels, Titanic, and xXx: Return of Xander Cage. In Pet Sematary II, a hint of his talent is revealed in one wide-angle shot where Jeff reaches for his mother but misses her hand as an unknown force hauls his bed back.

Although Pet Sematary II failed to deliver the emotional punch of its predecessor, the film revisited different aspects of a family’s loss. We witnessed a boy in love with his mother—and the distance he would go to express that love again. Along with feeling this child’s emotional scars, we experienced the peace a parent tries to offer during times of loss. Furthermore, we observed the requirement for that peace to be entwined with sternness, directed at preventing the child from self-inflicted harm in the present or future. These dynamics are summed up in a bar from the film’s main theme song Fading Away by Jan King. “Who do I tell? What can I do? Your soul is lost somewhere. Why can’t mine be there, too?

Dennis Widmyer and Kevin Kolsch’s Pet Sematary releases April 5th, 2019, but I recommend that you view the original versions beforehand. Plus, you can’t go wrong with Pet Sematary II for the Halloween season. So, grab a boo, and enjoy all the thrills this movie has to offer. Point Blank. Period.

In addition to contributing to Dread Central, Zena Dixon has been writing about all things creepy and horrific for over six years at RealQueenofHorror.com. She has always loved horror films and will soon be known directing her own feature-length horror. Feel free to follow her on Twitter @LovelyZena.

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Video Puts the New ‘Pet Sematary’ Trailer Side by Side With Mary Lambert’s 1989 Adaptation

It’s always interesting to see the similarities and differences between two different adaptations of the same novel, and next year’s Pet Sematary will indeed be an interesting experiment. Can Starry Eyes duo Dennis Widmyer and Kevin Kolsch do even more justice to Stephen King’s terrifying novel, or will it pale in comparison to what Mary Lambert already did?

The original adaptation of Pet Sematary was of course released back in 1989, and if you’re asking me, Mary Lambert did one hell of a job, creating an endless array of nightmares as well as iconic images and unforgettable moments out of King’s tragic tale. In my mind, Lambert’s Pet Sematary still holds up today, but the re-adaptation promises to go even darker.

This side-by-side comparison shows just how similar the new Pet Sematary looks to Lambert’s adaptation, but here’s hoping next year’s film is an entirely different experience.

After all, what’s the point of making the same movie over again?