Paramount+’s ‘Pet Sematary: Bloodlines’ is a supernatural horror film centering on young Jud Crandell, a character first introduced in author Stephen King’s 1983 novel ‘Pet Sematary.’ Directed by Lindsey Anderson Beer, the film is a prequel to the 2019 adaptation of King’s novel. It stars Jackson White as Jud Crandall, whose quest to leave his hometown inadvertently leads him to its dark and deep-buried secrets. Given the film’s exploration of the pet cemetery in Jud’s town and the story’s period setting, viewers must be curious to learn about the era and location where it is set. If you are looking for details about when and where ‘Pet Sematary: Bloodlines’ takes place and whether the town of Ludlow, Maine, is real, here is everything you need to know!
When Is Pet Sematary: Bloodlines Set?
‘Pet Sematary: Bloodlines’ is a prequel to the 2019 film based on the Stephen King novel of the same name. While the original book was released in 1983 and takes place around a similar period, the 2019 film adaptation is set in the modern era. The prequel film is set roughly fifty years before the first installment as it attempts to answer several mysteries and reveal the origin of the pet cemetery’s supernatural nature. As a result, ‘Pet Sematary: Bloodlines’ takes place in 1969 and features a young version of Jud Crandell as the story’s protagonist.
The period of 1969 is incorporated into the narrative as it helps viewers understand the circumstances Jud and the other characters face. The story’s primary conflict arises when Jud’s friend, Timmy Baterman, is revived using the pet cemetery after he dies fighting for his country. The Vietnam War, fought between 1955 and 1975, not only fuels the story’s external conflict but also Jud’s internal conflict since he desires to serve the greater good by enlisting in the army but is turned down because of his father bribing the doctor. Hence, the story taking place against the backdrop of the Vietnam War also helps the film stay true to its time period while exploring a previously untold chapter in Ludlow.
Is Ludlow a Real Place?
‘Pet Sematary’ follows the Creed family as they arrive in a remote town in Maine. However, they soon discover the horrors in the town and the secrets buried under its pet cemetery. Considering that ‘Pet Sematary: Bloodlines’ is a prequel to the original story, it makes sense for the story to be set in the same town. The movie takes place in the town of Ludlow, Maine. The movie establishes the town by adding to history as it reveals Native Americans once occupied the land it stands. However, initial colonizers led by Captain Ludlow took over the land.
When Ludlow died, he was buried in the sour land, which the natives considered unholy and haunted. As a result, the evil spirits that reanimate corpses buried on the land would come to haunt the town, forming the basis of the first film and the prequel’s story. The interesting backstory adds personality to the fictional town and gives it a sense of erie mysticism, a common trend in King’s bibliography. Furthermore, like other settings of King’s novels, Ludlow is also a fictional town set in Maine. It was loosely inspired by the real town of the same name located in Maine’s Aroostook County.
While the film’s version of the Ludlow gets its name from the eponymous real-life town, it was partially inspired by King’s experiences in Orrington, a town situated in Penobscot County, Maine. King first conceived the novel’s concept and story based on his rented house in Orrington near a pet cemetery. However, given the meager population of the town in the book and the movies, stated to be under 1000 people, the town closely resembles the real Ludlow.
The 2019 film was shot in Canada’s Hudson, Quebec, with the city serving as a double for Ludlow. However, the prequel film’s production occurred in Montreal and John Abbott College in Quebec. Ultimately, the version of Ludlow, Maine, popularized by King’s story, is a fictional place with a deadly history separate from the real town of the same name. Instead, the fictional version appearing in ‘Pet Sematary: Bloodlines’ is most likely a combination of Ludlow and Orrington, with locations in Canada serving as stand-ins for the Maine town.
Read More: Is Pet Sematary Inspired by a True Story?