In Pet Semetary, there is a painting hanging on the wall of Rachel's parent's house of a child with a gray cat.

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Later in the movie, we see Gage dressed the same way.

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Who is the child in the painting? Why is Gage dressed in the same way at the end of the film? What is the significance of this?


The child in the painting is Zelda, Rachel's sister, who died young. The boy is wearing her clothes to hint that Zelda's spirit is now inhabiting his body. In other words, the lesson is "be careful what you wish for."

In the book the painting is of the Wizard of Oz (the fireball guy, not the humbug).

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    Is this addressed in the movie? Could you provide a source please? Aug 11 '17 at 20:02
  • Not sure what you're asking. I don't think they explicitly point at the painting and say, "That's Zelda." Rachel is terrified that Zelda will return to torment her. It's been established that pets come back "wrong," that is, demonic. You have connect the dots here, but it's the worst-case scenario for Rachel, and that's what happens in horror movies. Source is IMDB's trivia for the movie, but it's copied in several other places. Aug 11 '17 at 20:59
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    Great. If it's talked about on IMDb and other places, just provide what it says on those places in your answer along with links. It just provides a concrete source to help answer the question rather than just speculation. Answers that provide sources along with an explanation in your own words are much better received here :) Aug 11 '17 at 21:11
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    You're answering the question claiming that it's actually Zelda. If they don't say this in the movie, then how do you know this? Where did you get that information? It's just preferable to have sources to make the answer more complete :) Aug 11 '17 at 21:18

I've not seen the film myself, but imdb seems to support Ralph Crown's answer:

The picture at Rachel's parents' house is a painting of Zelda as a child, before her spinal meningitis. Gage is later seen wearing a similar outfit (as well as having her red hair) to signify that Zelda has come back through him, which was Rachel's deepest fear.



The dress on the kid in the painting and the dress on the monsterous Zelda are the same. I think it's pretty obvious and doesn't require a citation... but to bolster this point further, there is a part in the original novel where Mrs. creed mistakes gage for Zelda moments before she is murdered by him... so that's it.

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