Bloodlines Just Made Another Stephen King Prequel More Likely

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Warning: Major spoilers for Pet Sematary: Bloodlines below!


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Summary

  • Pet Sematary: Bloodlines expands on a chapter from Stephen King’s novel but adds a much higher bodycount.
  • The flashback in Bloodlines teases a potential prequel exploring the founding of Ludlow, which could delve into the town’s relationship with the cemetery and the Mi’kmaq tribe’s reasons for building it.
  • Although an exploration of Ludlow’s origin seems like the obvious route for a prequel, it may detract from the mystery and horror of King’s book.

Pet Sematary: Bloodlines sets up the events of the 2019 movie, but a key flashback teases another potential prequel. Stephen King has previously complained about sequels or spinoffs to his work that aren’t based on anything he’s written, including the endless Children of the Corn movies or Pet Sematary Two. He’s given the thumbs up to Bloodlines, however, as it adapts a chapter from his original novel, which details the story of how war veteran Timmy Batterman (Jack Mulhern) was resurrected via Ludlow’s pet cemetery and set about tormenting the town.

Of course, Bloodlines greatly expands on this chapter and adds a much higher bodycount. While the Wendigo itself doesn’t make an appearance, the prequel features a flashback to 1674 that follows the pioneers who first discovered the burial ground. They followed the trail of a settler named Ludlow, who had been sent out months earlier to find fertile land in Mi’kmaq territory. They soon discover that Ludlow died on his journey, but later came back to life as a cannibalistic ghoul after being buried in the so-called “sour ground” of the cemetery.

Related: Pet Sematary: Bloodlines Ending Explained


Pet Sematary: Bloodlines Sets Up Another Prequel Movie To Stephen King’s Story

Masked Man Pet Sematary Bloodlines

This flashback also explains the town’s founders named it “Ludlow” as a reminder of the dangers the woods and cemetery present. Time will tell whether the prequel is enough of a success to warrant a Pet Sematary: Bloodlines 2, or if it will follow the further adventures of young Jud (Jackson White) before the 2019 film. That said, Bloodline’s flashback feels like it’s setting up another prequel that will explore the founding of Ludlow itself. While the prequel’s exploration of the franchise’s lore veers a little too far into over-explaining, these reveals are some of the most interesting concepts in the movie.

Rather than another story that follows Jud or even one set after the events of 2019’s Pet Sematary, a prequel taking place in the 17th century is probably the most fertile direction. This could dive deeper into the town’s relationship to the cemetery, and the Miꞌkmaq tribe’s reasons for building it. Bloodlines revealed the descendants of the town’s founders swore an oath to protect Ludlow from anything brought back from the “sour” ground. Another prequel could follow these original settlers and the idea that those living there are almost cursed to relive the same cycle of grief throughout the following centuries.

Why Bloodlines Teasing Another Pet Sematary Origin Story Is A Bad Idea

Young Jud Crandall and a resurrected dog in Pet Sematary: Bloodlines

Bloodlines is an entertaining, gory B-movie but it’s definitely on the lower rung of Stephen King adaptations. Its additions to the series’ canon are intriguing, but they’re not all that essential either. If another film must happen then exploring the founding of Ludlow is the obvious route, but like Pet Sematary: Bloodlines itself, that’s not really a story that must be told. The mystery is part of the horror of King’s book, so a further prequel pulling back the curtain and maybe even giving the Wendigo a bigger part feels like a step too far.