The Wicker Man

Film, Drama
2 out of 5 stars
(2user reviews)
The Wicker Man

Neil LaBute ’s utterly misconceived remake of Robin Hardy’s 1973 cult horror film is a boring, fright-free catastrophe, not least because of its half-cocked attempt to replace scriptwriter Anthony Shaffer’s original conflict between po-faced Christianity and free-spirited paganism with his own sardonic take on the battle of the sexes (cf ‘The Shape of Things’). So instead of Christopher Lee’s eccentric aristocrat lording it over his phallus-worshipping Scottish serfs, we have Ellen Burstyn queening it over her commune of feminist worker bees, and Edward Woodward’s strait-laced, God-fearing policeman is replaced by Nicolas Cage ’s haunted, belligerent motorcycle cop. Lured to a remote island by an old flame whose daughter has gone missing, Cage tries to shout, bully and punch his way to the truth. But his blinkered violence is no match for the feminists’ fancy footwork, and his bad-tempered bear soon falls into their honey-trap. Substituting irrelevant back-story for insidious intrigue and daft stunts for suspense, LaBute’s film drones on and on. Finally, and most unforgivably, its cursory Wicker Man finale fails to replicate the fiery shock of the original.

By: Nigel Floyd


Release details

Rated: 12A
Release date: Friday September 1 2006
Duration: 97 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Neil LaBute
Screenwriter: Neil LaBute
Cast: Kate Beahan
Ellen Burstyn
Diane Delano
Frances Conroy
Leelee Sobieski
Nicolas Cage
Molly Parker

Average User Rating

1.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:0
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:0
1 person listening

Absolute utter crap. Another case of the Yanks ruining a British masterpiece. They made it a good vs. evil thing, something that the original never was. They confused the horrifying simplicity of the islander's religion with horror baddies and they made the missing girl the policeman's daughter! WTF!!!! Please for the sake of everything decent go watch the original (directors cut if you can)

It was a disaster. It is one of many remakes that audiences have been forced to suffer through in recent years. It lacks all of the potent imagery of the original with its clash between Sergeant Howie's virgin like ravings and the earthy pleasures of the community that he is investigating. The original had its own flaws, many of which were created when the original cut was trimmed by a studio that was changing hands. Still, it is disconcerting to think of a director of LaButes class thinking he knows better, then proving so painfully that he does not.