September 3, 2006

The Wicker Man (2006)

I watched this movie again on the plane going to the States and, although not the greatest movie ever made, it made my journey slightly more tolerable so I'm going to recommend it to you.

You see the biggest problem with a remake like this is that the original is an absolute cult classic. That doesn't really mean that the original Wicker Man movie is the greatest movie ever made either but it does mean that any attempt to remake it will undoubtedly meet with harsh criticism and derision from all manner of people who probably only heard about there even being an original movie yesterday.

I also liked the first Wicker Man but it had some serious flaws. Some of the musical interludes were a bit weird and it was butchered so badly by the editors so that we are luckly to have what is left at all.

This remake gives the Wicker Man a new twist. Now there's a psychotic female led cult (which is much more Wiccan lol) who prey on men outside their community over the years to select victims for the wicker man sacrifice. This is much more sinister than just tricking Edward Woodward into looking for a lost girl for a one-off burning.

The idea was hinted at the end of the original with Edward Woodward asking Christopher Lee, "And what if the apples don't come back? What then?" So indeed these new sacrifices would have to happen.

Nicolas Cage was quite good as the cop in the new version and the addition of some very pretty women including Kate Beahan, Leelee "I'm not Helen Hunt" Sobieski and Ellen Burstyn almost made me forget that I was watching a PG rated movie. There was no nudie dancing against walls though which was a shame.

There was also no gore though a certain amount of offscreen nastiness was implied. The cult break Nic Cage's legs before putting him in the wicker man but you only hear it and don't see it. Well, what's to see anyway?

I enjoyed it mainly because it was fun for me to compare the two movies and see what has changed for the better and what changed for the worse. I don't know why the name of the place changed from "Summerisle" to "Summersisle" though. It was a bit pointless.

I personally think the director should have gone for more adult scenes and made it a seriously nasty 18 certificated movie. But, as it didn't really need any sex or gore to tell the story, he still did quite a good job with the material at hand and made a film that more ages can get to see legally.

This is still no family movie though unless your family is named Manson.

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