Writer: Neil LaBute, Anthony Shaffer (Screenplay)
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Ellen Burstyn, Kate Beahan, Frances Conroy, Molly Parker, Leelee Sobieski, Diane Delano
Plot: A sheriff investigating the disappearance of a young girl from a small island discovers there’s a larger mystery to solve among the island’s secretive, neo-pagan community.
Tagline – Be careful what you search for..
Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Standard & Watchable
Story: The Wicker Man starts when police officer Edward Malus (Cage) fails to save a mother and daughter, he falls into a deep depression taking time off work to recover, he receives a letter from his ex-fiancée Willow (Beahan) asking for his help in locating her daughter on the mysterious and isolated island known as Summersisle.
Once Edward makes his way to the island, he finds that the people are not welcoming towards him with only Willow willing to talk any sense to him, the island is filled with a cult like group of sisters that are preparing for a grand event.
Thoughts on The Wicker Man
Characters – Edward Malus is a police officer, he is doing his job when he witnesses a mother and daughter killed on the roadside, left depressed he is taking time off work to recover until his ex-fiancée contacts him. He must travel to a remote island with no technology to locate a missing girl only what he finds is something he never imagined he would see. Sister SummersIsle run the island, she is the leader that has the rules set in place to keep peace on the island. Sister Willow Woodward is the ex-fiancée that writes to him to help locate her missing daughter, she is the only one of the women on the island that doesn’t follow the rules completely. The island is filled with women in different roles that seem to only give Edward riddles as he searches for his answers.
Performances – Nicolas Cage takes the leading role in this movie, his performance is known for being one of the more comical in modern film history, it would be fair to say for the most part it is just a normal detective role, it isn’t until the final act he gets a little crazy. Kate Beahan in the supporting role is good being the motivation to head to the island, Ellen Burstyn works in her role, we don’t get to see too much from her because of the leadership level. We do get a good calm group of performances from the supporting cast through the film.
Story – The story here does follow the same path as the original, a stranger comes to a community to investigate a missing girl, only to learn that this is in fact a cult that have been planning for a celebration. We do have a couple of changes though, first we have the technology that needs to be eliminated early on and does, secondly, we have a different motivation for Edward to be going to the island. Knowing the main direction, the story will go does take away the mystery behind everything and it soon turns into a Nicolas Cage on a wild weekend which strangely attracts more for the movie. If you watch this with the right mentality you will let the story flow and just focus on Cage.
Horror/Mystery – The horror isn’t very effective, mostly because it gets tamed down from just how horrific it could be. This applies to the mystery to, if you know the original story, we don’t get enough to push us off track most of the film feel pretty clear.
Settings – The film keeps us on the remote island away from society that brings isolation to the community that doesn’t need or want technology, they can live with their own beliefs and not cause a problem to anyone in the outside world.
Special Effects – The effects in the film do leave something to question, the bees look terrible.
Final Thoughts – This is one of the most notorious so bad it is good movies, if you go in just wanting to watch Cage doing his crazy routine, well this is like him in overdrive and it is worth the time to see.
Overall: One film you must see for the wrong reasons.