Pet Sematary has just seen worldwide release and the movie stands as one of the best Stephen King adaptations ever put the film. The movie is packed with gruesome moments, shocking twists and an atmosphere that feels like it was ripped straight out of your worst nightmare.
One of the most unnerving aspects of the movie is the creature that haunts the titular grounds known simply as The Wendigo.
Throughout this video, I’ll be breaking down everything that you need to know about the monster and how it plays into other King works.
This is full spoilers ahead, so if you haven’t seen Pet Sematary yet then you may want to skip this video for now.
With that out the way, thank you for clicking this video, I hope you enjoy the breakdown and lets get into everything that you need to know about the Wendigo.
Pet Sematary: The Wendigo
Whilst we never see the Wendigo in Pet Sematary there is definitely hints towards its existence ranging from shadows in the dark, it’s nerve-tingling howl, the movement of the overgrowth in the area and the fact that it is a large presence in Ludlow’s folklore.
The natives of the town knew that the creature roamed the lands and in the film, it’s said that they tried to keep all from entering the area that it inhabits by building a large wall that is difficult to pass through.
Louis Creed, the main protagonist of the film, though never encountering the creature, almost comes face to face with it in the woods when trekking to the ancient burial ground and it’s definitely evident that something roams the area.
So why exactly does it do this?
The Wendigo’s Abilities
Well in Pet Sematary, the Wendigo roams the land in order to control all life that dies that after it has become deceased. The Wendigo has the ability to reanimate bodies and send them back to the living. Unfortunately, reanimation by The Wendigo causes psychosis and the corruption of the soul and this is why those brought back in the film ultimately end up attempting to harm and kill those around them.
The Wendigo is said to have placed a curse on the land in Pet Sematary and this is why it is able to do this.
Similar to Pennywise, The Wendigo just wants to harvest the town folk and will do whatever it can in order to continue it’s supply of bodies on the land. The reanimated corpses tend to live for roughly ten years and then die again which is why a constant supply is needed.
This is why it lets those pass through it’s land and why Louis is never harmed by the creature when tredding in it’s territory.
The Wendigo knows that one by one Louis will bring family members up to be reanimated there and that they will kill upon their return which will force him to return to the land.
The Wendigo’s Abilities
The Wendigo too is said to have the ability to possess people and also due to it’s connection to the spirit world is able to find intimate details about those around the host it takes over.
This can be seen in the film when Ellie taunts Judd about his dead wife and in the original novelisation of the work, Timmy Baterman, one of the first people to come back to life due to the grounds, also taunts those around him.
The Wendigo is a master manipulator and operates them from the shadows, much like the place it chooses to hide in the film. It is able to coerce the townsfolk and fill them with doubt, guilt, and insecurities as it slowly drives them to feed it’s land with more bodies.
This is why Victor appears so much in the film after Louis fails to save him. Victor has no supernatural abilities himself but the Wendigo is using the death to taunt Louis and this is why he has visions of the sacred land before ever visiting there.
So where does the Wendigo come from exactly?
The Wendigo Origins
Well, in Native American culture the Wendigo is a mythical evil spirit that is a by-product of the United States and Candian landscape. Though it takes on the appearance of a monster, it too is able to appear in human form though eventually if this is prolonged the person appears more and more monstrous as time goes on.
Historically The Wendigo is associated with our more animalistic side and it represents giving into our deepest and darkest desires with things like murder, greed and culturally taboo behaviors.
Whilst the creature is predominantly dealt with in Legend, in real life there is such a thing known as Wendigo Psychosis which is a medical diagnosis for people in Indigenous communities taking on a craving to eat flesh.
The Wendigo In Kings Work
So how else does the Wendigo play into King’s work? Well along with Pet Sematary, The Wendigo has also featured in Kings Work called The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon.
In that a girl named Trish McFarland becomes separated from her family when hiking with them and after becoming lost has several breakdowns.
The Wendigo stalks her with the intent to take her as it’s next victims. Throughout the woods, it leaves warning signs and omens that lead her down certain paths before eventually appearing as people form her life in order to coerce her. The Wendigo appears as a prophet of God Of The Lost and states that all who resist The Wendigo are met with death which helps it to persuade Trish as she falls deeper into the forest.
Eventually, Trish makes it out of the woods but The Wendigo appears as a bear and attacks her, luckily she is saved by hunters who shoot at the creature and it retreats to the woods to wait for more victims.
Whilst it hasn’t reappeared in Kings work since, it’s safe to say that it’s never too far away and I can definitely see this book being adapted due to the success of Pet Sematary.
Obviously, I’d love to hear your thoughts on The Wendigo and Pet Sematary. If you enjoyed this video then please like it and leave your thoughts on the movie in the comments below.
If you’d like a more indepth breakdown of Pet Sematary then make sure you check out my Ending Explained analysis of the movie which will be linked at the end.