The Wicker Man


Action / Horror / Mystery / Thriller

IMDb Rating 3.7 10 58431


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October 22, 2012 at 01:07 AM



Nicolas Cage as Edward Malus
James Franco as Bar Guy #1
Leelee Sobieski as Sister Honey
Frances Conroy as Dr. T.H. Moss
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
750.08 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 42 min
P/S 3 / 14
1.35 GB
23.976 fps
1hr 42 min
P/S 3 / 13

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Ali Catterall 1 / 10

The True Nature of Sacrifice

Prior to this release, Neil LaBute had this to say about the 1973 original: "It's surprising how many people say it's their favorite soundtrack. I'm like, come on! You may not like the new one, but if that's your favorite soundtrack, I don't know if I *want* you to like my film."

Neil, a word. You might want to sit down for this too; as Lord Summerisle says, shocks are so much better absorbed with the knees bent. See, Neil, the thing about the original, is that Paul Giovanni's soundtrack is one of the most celebrated things about it. The filmmakers themselves consider it a virtual musical. Along with Richard and Danny Thompson, and Bert Jansch, it practically kick-started the 1970s Folk New Wave. To undermine it is akin to imagining Jaws without John Williams. Or The Buddy Holly Story without Buddy Holly. The result's one of the most breathtakingly arrogant, pointless remake of a British cult classic since Sly Stallone's Get Carter.

The original had apparently left Nicolas Cage "disturbed for about two weeks." So disturbed, during that fortnight's window, that he pitched the idea of re-imagining one of the most nuanced films about inter-faith struggle ever devised to a writer-director previously known for his wholly unsubtle depictions of male chauvinism. It's like some parlor game: what would you get if Sam Peckinpah took on Bambi? Or Gaspar "Irreversible" Noe remade Love, Actually?(Actually, I'd quite like to see that). Unfortunately, someone took this parlor game seriously: All LaBute's succeeded in doing is ripping out the original's guts while saddling it with his own gormless Sex War preoccupations.

After failing to rescue a little girl and her mum from a fatal car crash, Cage's highway patrolman spirals into a medicated torpor. Then he receives a letter from ex-fiancée Willow Woodward (this one trades on name-homages for kudos), now living on the private island community of Summersisle – that extra 's' stands for 'superfluous' – and wants Edward to help locate missing daughter Rowan.

Summersisle, it transpires, is a female-dominated joint, conceived as a haven for oppressed womenfolk and refugees from the Salem witch trials. Here, the matriarchs observe the Olde ways, and the few males are near-mute breed-mules. It's like Lilith Fair on a grand scale. Summersisle's main export is honey – a symbolic and literal headache for Edward, as he's allergic to bees. "Beekeepers!" cries Edward. "They seem to be everywhere on this island!" Well, that's probably because Summersisle's main export is honey.

While making his investigations, Edward overhears of an oncoming Mayday ritual called "the time of death and rebirth". He discovers the previous year's crop failed; nearly dies from bee stings; and eventually comes to the conclusion (a conclusion which admittedly couldn't be more obvious if the locals had tattooed a timetable of events on the back of his hands) that Rowan will be burnt alive in a pagan rite to ensure a bountiful harvest. He also meets the Queen Bee of the hive, Sister Summersisle (Burstyn), who has her own plans for him involving the eponymous Wicker Man: "The drone must die."

First, the good news: any concerns Cage would be airlifted from the Wicker Man's flaming jaws at the last minute by a fleet of black CIA helicopters can be laid to rest: he toast. That's about it for the good news. "This is a story whose chapters were carefully written" intones Burstyn with sublime irony. Though retaining the basic cat-and-mouse premise (and credits typography), what's left subjects the original to a scorched-earth policy.

Crucial to Shaffer's original screenplay was that his Christian copper, in accordance with ritual, came to the island of his own free will – and most importantly, was a virgin; the perfect sacrifice. In reducing matters to a sexual, as opposed to a religious power-struggle, LaBute presents the flimsiest of qualifiers for a harvest sacrifice. By the time Cage has worked out he was the bait, you honestly couldn't care less.

And Cage is one of the very worst things in this; a lumbering, drawling donkey – an arsewit whose tongue seems just slightly too big for his mouth. "Goddamit" he moans after he hallucinates a drowned Rowan, with all the mental torment of a man who's set his morning alarm clock half-an-hour too early. One hopes it's his character's frequent reliance on pills that has reduced him to this state – alternately fatigued, then full of preppy, overbearing vim. If so, it's a fine portrayal of an undistinguished IQ addled with anti-depressants. If not…it doesn't bear thinking about. As Willow, the saucer-eyed Beahan is similarly dreadful, presenting her lines as if in competition with Cage for the…most…half-hearted…delivery. While Burstyn entirely lacks the mercurial menace to convince. Who's afraid of Naomi Wolf?

Every element that made the original great – the lovingly detailed depictions of folk customs, the ingenious score, the dialogue (Lord Summerisle's majestic "You did it beautifully!" has been replaced with the rather less attractive "You did it excellently!" Whoah, dude!) – have been substituted for a meandering battle-of-the-sexes thriller with occasional crash-bang wallop. Namely, walloping women; this is a LaBute flick, after all. Cage's Sister Beech bashing is just one of the more embarrassing episodes; impotent little men will be hooting with glee at how them uppity hippie chicks finally got what was comin' to 'em, hyuk hyuk.

The closing coda sees the whole rotten mess collapsing under the weight of genre cliché: in a bar, two guys run into a couple of Summersisle maidens on shore leave, flirty-fishing for fresh martyrs. At the moment of their successful pick-up, you half expect the women to turn round and give an exaggerated wink and a thumbs up to the camera.

One more thing: keen credit watchers may have noticed that films sporting an unusually high producer count (anything up to 10) tend to be Not Much Cop. The Wicker Man has 18 producers in total.

Reviewed by Ilikehorrormovies 1 / 10

What are you guys talking about? This movie is fine! (Satire)

I have to admit this movie so bad that it's good. I wish I gave it a 10 but I have to keep it real though. I think this movie is a shot for shot remake but the difference is that it's a women colt I think. The script is lazy, the writing is weak, the story is poorly told, and the acting is SOOOOOOOOO funny! Is it the worse remake of all time? No. Did they tried their best? Yes they did. This is my review on The Wicker Man (2006), one more thing. OH NO! NOT THE BEES! NOT THE BEES!!! AGHHHHHH!!! ALL OVER MY EYES!!! MY EYES!!! AGHHHH!!! AGHHHH!!!

Reviewed by GL84 4 / 10

Disappointing and unspectacular remake

Haunted by a tragic accident, a policeman is called out to an isolated island community to search for a missing child only for the habitants' strange rituals and ceremonies to infuriate him which causes him to discover what the real reason was for the ceremony.

This has a few considerable flaws going for it. One of the main issues is that there's a problem with the way the investigation is handled which is a huge factor due to the majority of the time this spends on the investigation. Since the film relies on the fact that everything around him is lying and he's being deceived quite obviously, this one goes for the society seemingly playing games with him from the start even if they appear to be trying to help him for the first half here. At the very end, he starts going around and throwing his weight around to make up for all the lies that were told to him which really seems like an act which should've been done sooner, especially after the reception received. It might've worked better and had better results if he had done something sooner rather than let the investigation get that way. This one carries on a joke far too long and really drags this out. Another pretty big flaw is that there are no real surprises to be had from this since it plays out exactly as it originally did, and all the surprises and fun to be had from that one are gone because it is so familiar. Even the plot twist doesn't surprise, which is the greatest flaw in here as the film is built up to a twist out of nowhere that has none of the fear and dread featured in the original, effectively ruining all the momentum it would've had going into it the same. Even the tagged-on epilogue is a failure, as the movie should've ended with the twist rather than the lame gag given here which manages to end this on an even more sour note. There's even way too much insistence on jump- cuts, and while there's some visual impact or shock effect they're a really irritating distraction. There's so many that it can become blasé which is deadening because there's too many of them. Alongside some truly cheesy and silly set-pieces, there are some really big holes as this gets very little right. One of them is that the opening really works for the film as the everyday normality it opens to is expertly shattered with a brutal and shocking crash, and the eventual race before the fire burns everything is handled with some nice suspense. The search at times can be quite fun, as there are some really good scenes in here that are derived from that, especially the sequence where he gets stuck in the underground cavern or the room covered with bees. It gets considerably more active and intense towards the end after the changeover to their celebrations as the revelry and costumes makes for quite a fun, cheesy time. These, though, constitute the film's only good points.

Rated PG-13: Language and Violence.

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