The Wicker Man (1973)
written by Anthony Shaffer
based on the novel Ritual by David Pinner
directed by Robin Hardy
Rating: 3 / 4 – Good
Well, this is certainly one of the strangest movies I have ever seen. A policeman (Edward Woodward) is summoned to a remote Scottish island when a young girl goes missing. Once there, he realizes the tight-knit community harbors many secrets, among them a belief in Celtic gods, open copulation, and pagan rituals. Are they hiding the lost girl? Does the town leader (Christopher Lee) know more than he seems? Will the sergeant– a virgin – succumb to the spell of the landlord’s daughter as she sings him an erotic ballad?
The Wicker Man is a horror musical of sorts (yep, there’s singing and dancing) that achieves a rather creepy atmosphere through the use of surreal imagery and songs. I’m not sure why the combination works, but it does. All I know is that the final twist is unexpected, horrible… and curiously fitting. It will haunt your nightmares for the rest of your life.
Oh, and avoid the god-awful 2006 remake with Nicolas Cage… unless you’re looking for a good laugh.
Carlos I. Cuevas
For more, check out the review at Cinesthesia – The Wicker Man.