'Pet Sematary' Scores R Rating for "Disturbing and Violent Content"

Stephen King's Pet Sematary never pulled its punches in its descriptions of macabre subject matter, delivering readers a frightfully gruesome experience. When the novel was adapted into a film in 1989, the movie honored its roots by delivering a number of violent and disturbing sequences. One trend that horror fans have noticed in recent years is the desire of studios to tone down graphic subject matter for tamer ratings, which will allow larger demographics to head to the theater opening weekend. The new iteration of Pet Sematary, however, will stick to the source material and all of its unsettling imagery, earning itself an R rating from the MPAA.

Per JoBlo, the MPAA has administered the new film an R rating due to "disturbing and violent content, bloody images, sexual material, graphic nudity, and language."

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.

This rating likely won't come as a surprise to fans, given the inherent nature of the story, in addition to producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura implying the film would lean into the graphic elements of the story last fall.

"I don’t see how it could not be rated R. 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," the producer shared with Bloody Disgusting. "I’ll say it this way also, 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 new Pet Sematary lands in theaters on April 5th.

Are you surprised by the reasons the film earned its rating? Let us know in the comments below or hit up @TheWolfman on Twitter to talk all things horror and Star Wars!

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