Alexandre Aja plans to direct 'Pet Sematary' remake: Let sleeping dogs lie?

The young director known for gore flicks like 'The Hills Have Eyes' and 'Piranha' signs on for another round of onscreen carnage.

Sautierre Phillipe/SIPA/Newscom
Alexandre Aja has directed numerous horror films, including the popular 'The Hills Have Eyes' and 'Piranha.'

The last time we heard about the Pet Sematary remake, Paramount was pushing ahead with the project, having secured a script by 1408 writer Matt Greenberg.

Now we learn that the studio has a director in mind for Pet Sematary – one who is well-versed in the challenge of horror movie remakes.

Alexandre Aja, the director behind horror remakes like The Hills Have Eyes, Piranha, and Mirrors, is reportedly Paramount’s choice for the Pet Sematary remake. Aja is a French filmmaker who has arguably achieved auteur status thanks to his signature style, which involves lots of horrific gore and disturbing imagery, shot in uncomfortably long takes (see: The Hills Have Eyes).

Given the nature of Stephen King’s Pet Sematary story – A couple moves from the city to the country with their kids and discover a burial ground that can restore dead things to quasi-life – one could see the potential advantage of having someone like Aja at the helm. The guy dwells in gore so deeply that rotting demonic dead things would be right up his alley. Anyone who’s seen his breakout film, High Tension, also knows that Aja can do some…creative things using a limited setting (say, a remote house in the countryside).

According to Twitch Film, Paramount is “actively trying to sign [Aja] up.” The director had another project called Cobra: The Space Pirate in the works, but that film is reportedly still looking to secure financing, with a 2013 shooting date planned. That would leave late 2011 and 2012 wide open for Pet Sematary.

As for the question of whether or not it’s worth remaking this film? The 1989 adaptation of King’s novel (which was adapted by King himself) has a kitschy, cult-semi-classic reputation (its sequel with Edward Furlong is even more kitschy), but it’s not one of those films that’s so well-crafted (not by a long shot) or so beloved that a new generation should be denied a new vision of the story. While having Greenberg instead of King handling the script might be looked at as a minus, having Aja in the director’s chair would be a plus, in my opinion.

We’ll keep you updated about whether Aja signs on the dotted line or not, and in the development (and inevitable casting) of this Pet Sematary remake as a whole.

Source: Twitch Film


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