If someone told me I should watch The Wicker Man I would have laughed. As I was only familiar with Nicholas Cage’s version of the film. However, I found out that Cage’s was a remake when researching the best horror films. I grabbed a used copy of the 1973 version of the film and watched it for movie 25 of 31 of Horrortober. I give The Wicker Man the Not Quite Golden, Ponyboy.
Sergeant Howie (Edward Woodward) is sent to Summerisle to investigate a missing girl that they say has never lived there. As he investigates the missing girl, he is shocked to discover the religious practices of the island. The sergeant being a devout Christian is disturbed by the practices he sees on the island as he uncovers a twisted plot.
I watched clips from the 2006 Wicker Man and laughed at how over-the-top Cage’s performance was. I picked up enough of the plot from that film that I wasn’t sure how the original would be good. It turns out it is a much better story and the mystery is nowhere near as convoluted as it was in the remake. The elements of horror in the film really didn’t resonate with me until the final sequence. However, the last moments of the film definitely earn it the horror rating. That’s not to say there aren’t odd practices, but most of the film focuses on the mystery.
Christopher Lee plays a charming leader of Summerisle
I liked both Edward Woodward and Christopher Lee a lot. Both were completely convinced their beliefs were the correct ones. The sergeant condemns the islanders for the practices because they are contrary to his traditional Christian beliefs. He is even able to resist temptation from the daughter of the innkeeper. The film also puts the ideas of law and power at play as the sergeant believes he has access to files the townspeople do not. They don’t recognize his position of power and refer him to Lord Summerisle.
While I was never scared during this film, I did see some things that were horrific. The film is interesting and seems to bring lots of topics to discuss. Religious views, sexuality, and blind faith are all elements of the story presented in this well crafted film. It’s not one I would have sought out on my own, but I’m glad I gave it a chance.