[Movie Review] The Wicker Man

The Wicker ManStarring: Nicolas Cage, Ellen Burstyn, Kate Beahan, Frances Conroy
Director: Neil LaBute
Genre: Thriller
Cert: 15
Released: 2006

Nic Cage is back! Again! In another movie!

This time he’s Edward Malus, a cop haunted by being unable to save a woman and young girl from a horrific car wreck. With his world caving in around him he is lured to a remote island in the Pacific Northwest by an ex-fiancée. She tells him that her daughter, Rowan, has been kidnapped and is being kept somewhere on the island.

After careful consideration Malus decides to hitch a ride to the island and encounters an eerie, closed society who pay no heed to mainland laws or conventional religion, where women seem to rule the roost and his ex-fiancée, Willow (Kate Beahan), seems afraid to reveal too much. Malus lays down the law to the likes of the domineering Sister Beech (the powerfully-built Diane Delano) and Sister Summerisle (Ellen Burstyn) and makes headway in his investigation, finding evidence that Rowan is on the island.

But there’s something in the air (Malus: “Something bad is about to happen”). What can it be?

My advice is don’t bother to find out. This is a remake of the well-received 1973 cult classic with Edward Woodward, a film I haven’t seen. I can only imagine it’s infinitely better than this. How could they get it so wrong?

Scenes and storylines seemingly exist for no reason other than to confuse you. Malus’ decision to visit this remote island and his behaviour there (wouldn’t you know it – he’s got no phone signal) makes no sense. It’s part-“Children of the Corn”, part-“In the Mouth of Madness”, part-“The Forgotten”, perhaps a bit of “Flightplan”. But it’s all rubbish.


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