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Pet Sematary: Terrifying Final Trailer Will Haunt Your Dreams

Paramount Pictures held nothing back in the final trailer for Pet Sematary, the remake directed by filmmaking duo Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer. The studio dropped the last peek at the pic before its theatrical launch on Monday, April 1 — just in time to get your week started on an ominous tone. 

And ominous it really is, as the final Pet Sematary remake trailer no longer skirts around the big narrative twist and instead digs heavily into it, opening on Dr. Louis Creed (Jason Clarke) bathing his daughter Ellie (Jeté Laurence) as she recounts the tragic events of her 9th birthday party that sent her to the grave. As Louis brushes Ellie's hair, his hands caked in blood, she tells him that she remembers running out into the road to save the family cat, Church, from being hit by oncoming traffic. Unfortunately, Ellie's act of heroism killed her — a semi-truck crushed her, then "everything went black," as she puts it. 

Its in this initial singer that we get one of the many unsettling images sprinkled throughout Pet Sematary: Louis parts Ellie's hair to reveal a row of staples lining the back of her head. 

From there, the new Pet Sematary footage further explores the effects death has had on Ellie's psyche, something that the original film from the late '80s and Stephen King's novel upon which the remake is based didn't do. (For those unfamiliar, the OG Pet Sematary saw Ellie's younger brother, the toddler Gage, get struck by the truck and subsequently brought back to life in the ancient burial ground near the Creeds' home. Having the older child be the victim opened up the opportunity to see how dying impacts her mind, as she can more easily understand death than can her toddler brother.) 

Ellie seems to understands that she died, but she doesn't fully grasp what happened to her after her world went black or how she was revived. When her father tells her that everything is okay now that she's "back," Ellie asks, "Back from where?" 

Another member of the Creed family who is confused as to how dead Ellie is now not-dead Ellie? Louis' wife, Rachel, played by Amy Seimetz. 

"What's going on?" she asks as the trailer pans across the titular "pet sematary," the place tucked deep in the woods of rural Maine where children in the neighborhood take their deceased pets to resurrect them. As Louis explains, "There's a place, Rach. It brings things back." 

Cue footage of Ellie, freshly risen from the grave, creeping through the hallway to give her mother a hug. "Are you happy, Mommy?" asks Ellie as Rachel gasps in horror.

Reviving Ellie was a terrible mistake, Louis and Rachel ultimately learn, since there is no way to successfully cheat death without serious consequences. The Creeds' next-door neighbor Jud Crandall (John Lithgow) was the one who introduced Louis to the mystical burial site, and upon realizing what Louis has done with Ellie, immediately regrets ever telling him about it. Jud tells Louis that there's a "price to be paid" for bringing Ellie back, but that it isn't too late to "undo it."

On the one hand, it's easy to empathize with Louis, who just wanted more time with his daughter than the nine years he got before she was killed. Conversely, resurrected Ellie isn't the same sweet girl the Creeds knew — she's a ruthless monster, shown attacking her mother in her bed. It's abundantly clear that Jud Crandall was right: sometimes dead is better. 

While this final Pet Sematary trailer doesn't reveal a whole lot of new details, it does hint at an important subplot featured in the classic story: the relationship Rachel had with her sister Zelda (Alyssa Brooke Levine), who passed away due to complications from spinal meningitis when the two were young. In the footage, we watch as a disfigured woman crawls across the floor and cries out, "Rachel!" Yeah, we're definitely sleeping with the lights on tonight. 

Some diehard King fans called foul when the most recent trailer for the Pet Sematary remake revealed that Ellie was the killed-then-revived Creed kid and not Gage. However, King totally approves of the story change and still feels the new film is a faithful take on his novel. He told Entertainment Weekly, "It's f****** great! It's a really good movie ... It's something different. They did a good job ... It didn't change anything for me. I thought, 'Okay, I understand why they did it, because it's maybe easier to work with a zombie when she's a little girl, [rather] than a toddler.'"

It isn't just the King himself who is down with the changes Kölsch and Widmyer made to the source material — critics who saw the remake in advance screenings feel the alteration was for the better. In many reviewers' eyes, the story switch-up is just one of many reasons why made this year's Pet Sematary is one of the very best takes on a Stephen King novel in all of history. Like Kat Hughes of The Hollywood News wrote, "With Pet Sematary, Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer have crafted a tone perfect recreation of Stephen King's best work. This is a film steeped in darkness from its opening to closing moments. It's one film that you won't soon forget." And as Slashfilm's Chris Evangelista said in his review, "Directors Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer take the terror that King forged, and mold it into something fresh, and exciting, and downright horrifying. Pet Sematary is one of the best Stephen King adaptations ever ... Because in the end, it understands exactly what makes the book so powerful, and terrifying."

Witness all the darkness and dread of Pet Sematary when the film launches in theaters this Friday, April 5.