Did You Catch This Subtle Connection Between Pet Sematary & It?

With every new movie, the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to grow to unprecedented proportions. But there's another cinematic ecosystem gaining traction — and it's a terrifying one. Pet Sematary, out April 5, is the latest addition to the spate of new adaptations of Stephen King's novels.
King's enormous bibliography, spanning 50 years and counting, is ideal fodder for a cinematic universe. The books already form a multiverse, bursting with connections between books and clever easter eggs. Most famously, King's stories are united through setting. Many of his novels are set in a trinity of fictional Maine towns — Derry, Castle Rock, and Jerusalem's Lot. That brings us to the subtle connection between It and Pet Sematary, which is set on a haunted plot of land in Ludlow, ME.
Advertisement
Midway through Pet Sematary, Rachel Creed (Amy Seimetz) is stuck in traffic driving north on the I-95. Her family is fraying. Back in their new Maine farmhouse, Rachel's husband, Louis (Jason Clarke), has brought their dead daughter, Ellie (Jete Laurence), back to life using the powers of an ancient indigenous peoples burial ground. In the backseat, her toddler son (Hugo and Lucas Lavoie) is whimpering because he's being haunted by a ghost. Things are stressful! So Rachel doesn't pay any mind to the green sign that declares the town of Derry, ME is 20 hours away.
But we, careful archivists of the Stephen King universe, know what that means: The Creed family has moved to a region of the United States rife with dark possibilities.
As we saw in It, Derry is home to a shape-shifting entity that emerges every 27 years to prey on children. And that's just the start of Derry's paranormal activity. In the book Insomnia, Derry resident Ralph Roberts faces off against the Crimson King, an immortal being that seeks to topple the entire multiverse (read the Dark Tower series — it'll all make sense in about eight books' time).
The reference to Derry in It is subtle, but important. The green road sign indicates that filmmakers are linking their movies together, just as King playfully linked his books together. Read far enough into a King novel, and you're likely to stumble on a reference to It —Dick Halloran, the psychic cook in The Shining, appears in It as a young soldier who magically escapes a burning club. It's almost like he knew what was coming.
Advertisement
These references don't necessarily lead anywhere (like a Wendigo-Pennywise spin-off), but they add a sense of richness and life to King's already fascinating fictional setting. As one of King's stories is told, the settings and characters from King's other books still exist — just like the people and places in our lives we've left behind. And who knows? We might cross paths again.
The more books you read, the deeper your understanding of King's universe. Soon, the same will apply to King movies. If spotting connections between It and Pet Sematary got you fired up, binge-watch Castle Rock on Hulu — each scene holds a wink for the King fanatic.
Advertisement

More from Movies

R29 Original Series