The Wicker Man (1973)

The Wicker Man (1973)

written by Anthony Shaffer

based on the novel Ritual by David Pinner

directed by Robin Hardy

Well, this is certainly one of the strangest movies I have ever seen. A policeman (Edward Woodward) is summoned to a remote Scottish island when a young girl goes missing. Once there, he realizes the tight-knit community harbors many secrets, among them a belief in Celtic gods, open copulation, and pagan rituals. Are they hiding the lost girl? Does the town leader (Christopher Lee) know more than he seems? Will the detective – a Christian and a virgin – succumb to the spell of the landlord’s daughter as she croons an erotic ballad?

The Wicker Man is a peculiar horror film that achieves a rather creepy atmosphere through the use of surreal imagery, singing, and dancing. I’m not sure why the combination works, but it does. All I know is that the final twist is unexpected, horrible… and curiously fitting. It will haunt your nightmares for the rest of your life. Oh, and avoid the god-awful 2006 remake with Nicolas Cage… unless you’re looking for a good laugh.

Click here to read Rogelio Rodríguez’ review on my sister site Cinesthesia.

Rating: ***

Carlos I. Cuevas