Gage Creed (character)
|Pet Sematary character|
|First appearance||Pet Sematary|
|Last appearance||Pet Sematary|
|Created by||Stephen King|
|Portrayed by||Pet Sematary (1989 film)|
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Gage Creed is a fictional character created by Stephen King and is the primary antagonist of his 1983 novel Pet Sematary. In the novel, Gage was an innocent child who is accidentally killed by a speeding tanker truck. Gage’s grieving father Louis brings him back to life by burying him in the titular cemetery, which is possessed by a Wendigo. Once reanimated, Gage is controlled by the Wendigo's evil spirit and murders his mother, Rachel, and their neighbor, Jud Crandall. Gage was portrayed in the 1989 film adaptation of the novel by Miko Hughes. He was portrayed in the 2019 remake by twins Hugo and Lucas Lavoie. Gage was also portrayed in a small cameo appearance by his creator, Stephen King, in the 1997 miniseries adaptation of The Shining.
Fictional character biography
Gage Creed is the 3-year-old son of Louis and Rachel Creed and the younger brother to Ellie Creed. Before his death and eventual resurrection, Gage appears to be a typical toddler. He and his family move to Ludlow, Maine from Chicago, Illinois and become friends with their neighbor Jud Crandall. However, the family notices that their new house is located right next to a freeway and there is a cemetery for animals in their backyard called the "Pet Sematary". One day, the Creeds and Jud are having a picnic in their yard, and Gage is playing with a kite. The kite begins blowing away and Gage starts chasing it, unaware he is heading into the freeway. His father tries to catch up to him but is too late - Gage is struck and killed by a speeding tanker truck. In his grief, Louis takes his son to the ancient burial ground introduced to him by Jud after their cat, Church, was killed. Louis buries Gage there, and his son is possessed by the spirit of a Wendigo and resurrected.
Once Gage returns to life, he murders Jud and calls for his mother to come to him. He then kills his mother and taunts his father. Louis then puts his son out of his misery by injecting him with a lethal dose of morphine.
Inspiration and adaptations
The original inspiration for the character was King's own son, Owen, who had been stopped from running into the road while flying a kite. The King family was then staying in a spooky house in Orrington, Maine – a place which had a real pet cemetery.
Gage is portrayed in the 1989 film adaptation by Miko Hughes. While the film itself garnered mixed reviews, Hughes' portrayal of Gage was universally acclaimed for the chilling performance given by such a small child. Two-year old Russell Graves also played the part as a stand-in and double for Hughes. Graves was cast when the film was shot on location in Ellsworth, Maine and appears as Gage in the kite-flying scene. A mannequin was also used to portray the character in scenes after it has been reanimated and starts its killing rampage.
In the 2019 remake, Gage was portrayed by twins Hugo and Lucas Lavoie. In this adaptation, Gage and Ellie switch roles and Ellie is killed by the tanker. Gage ends up being the only assumed survivor of the story, as each member of the Creed family is killed by Ellie and possessed by the Wendigo. The film ends with Gage safely in a car with the possessed Creed family returning to the car motioning for Gage to unlock the car. There is an alternative ending to the film where Louis carries Gage inside the house and reunites with Ellie and Rachel, while Gage is screaming and crying in fear.
Gage was portrayed in a small cameo appearance by his creator, Stephen King, in the 1997 miniseries adaptation of The Shining. In the cameo, Gage appears as an orchestra conductor during one of Jack Torrance's hallucinations.
The death of Gage in King's original novel was described by many at the time as "shocking" and "heartbreaking". The character's eventual turn into the primary antagonist of the story led to him being considered as one of the best and creepiest Stephen King characters/villains. The portrayal of the character in the 1989 film by Miko Hughes was widely praised despite the film itself receiving mixed reviews.
- Sprague, Mike (March 30, 2019). "What Does Stephen King of Those Big Changes in the Pet Sematary Remake". MovieWeb. Retrieved September 12, 2019.
- Nicolau, Elaine (April 6, 2019). "Blame the Wendigo for Pet Sematary's incredibly bleak ending". Refinery29. Retrieved September 12, 2019.
- Emily Burnham (3 April 2019), "As a remake hits theaters, Mainers remember the filming of the original 'Pet Sematary'", Bangor Daily News
- Fishingbauer-Cooper, Gael (October 31, 2017). "Stephen King's Chilling 'Pet Sematary' gets big-screen remake". CNet. Retrieved September 12, 2019.
- Scott Von Doviak (2014), Stephen King Films FAQ, Hal Leonard Corporation, p. 124, ISBN 9781480386181
- Cavanaugh, Patrick (June 24, 2019). "Check Out the Alternative Ending for Pet Sematary". Comicbook.com. Retrieved September 12, 2019.
- Buxton, Marc (September 12, 2019). "Stephen King: 10 Best Supernatural Villains". Den of Geek. Retrieved September 14, 2019.
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