Review of “The Wicker Man” (2006) PG-13 102min
March 7th, 2008 by Maxim · No Comments · 4,487 Views
This is a remake of 1973 British horror movie with the same title written and directed by Neil LaBute and starring Nicolas Cage.
The plot: a motorcycle cop Edward Malus (Nicolas Cage), traumatized by the road-side death of the occupants of the car he had stopped, receives a letter from his ex-fiance Willow informing him that her daughter is missing and she has nobody else to turn to. Willow is living on an island off the shore of Washington state. When Edward arrives on the island he soon discovers that island is populated by the secretive cult members with strange rituals. Everyone on the island is denying her existence. He suspects that Willow’s daughter is alive and is kept on the island, and they are planning to perform a human sacrifice to appease the Goddess to save their crops. The stakes become higher when Willow tells him that her missing girl is his daughter too.
The good: HD-DVD and Blu-Ray versions of the movie have an alternative ending. The HD-DVD also has feature to pan and zoom some landscape scenes (Vancouver area).
The bad: With the exception of Ellen Burtyn who played sister Summersisle, the acting was weak. The story is a disaster. It’s based on the idea that so Celts fled Europe and landed in America, but since they were being prosecuted there too, they just kept moving west until they ended up creating little colony on that island. Of course it is historically incorrect. The only known account of Gaulic Druids ever making a human sacrifice was described by Julius Caesar, Roman emperor, and even that could have been propaganda to win support for Gallic Wars back home. According to Caesar, Druids were giving the human sacrifice by burning it in effigy. People still burn effigies these days in neo-pagan festivals and, of course, rock festivals like Burning Man here in United States. The gruesome ending of the movie is not supposed to be too shocking because the audience is supposed to understand that the islanders have to make that sacrifice because they really need their crops to succeed, but it doesn’t quite work. Also, those hallucinations that Edward is having, like hearing voices and whispers, are a cliche from Children of the Corn and likes of it. Costumes are really bad. Dialogs were pathetic.
The summary: This is a bad attempt to remake the 1973 movie, with really bad acting and a story that we have seen so many times before, in X-Files series, for example. It’s based on the idea that some remote villages or other places might have those creepy cults. Although the ending is hard to predict, there’s little suspense and everything seems so fake.
The movie has received several nominations, the Razzies: for Worst Actor Nicolas Cage (his second nomination in this category), Worst movie, Worst re-make/rip-off and others.
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