This December marks the fiftieth anniversary of iconic horror movies The Exorcist and The Wicker Man. While the previous is having fun with a reappraisal because of the demise of director William Friedkin and a forthcoming film within the collection, The Exorcist: Believer, The Wicker Man’s legacy continues to be stained considerably by what occurred 17 years in the past right this moment.
Within the unique Wicker Man, Police Sergeant Neil Howie is distributed to a distant island village seeking a lacking lady. The locals declare she doesn’t exist, and Howie finds the island’s methods to be more and more troubling. Sadly for Howie, he’s not in a position to deduce precisely what’s occurring in time, and thus one among horror’s most annoying endings is born.
A measure of how efficient of a horror film The Wicker Man is comes from the very fact Christopher Lee is in it and manages to be unsettling with out actually doing one sinister factor (effectively till the masks absolutely slips, and even then). He’s so charming and well mannered that it really works as an incredible measuring stick for the tone of the entire film. It’s a welcoming place, however set in its personal methods. It’s been riffed on rather a lot through the years, with Edgar Wright’s Scorching Fuzz and Ari Aster’s Midsommar excessive among the many finest homages. Scorching Fuzz even featured Sergeant Howie himself, Edward Woodward.
The director of the unique movie Robin Hardy created a reimagining of kinds in 2011 known as The Wicker Tree that didn’t precisely set the world (or man) on fireplace, however that’s not the reminiscence many have of The Wicker Man in trendy occasions.
Bumbling and Bees
Credit score: Warner Bros.
In 2006, Within the Firm of Males and Nurse Betty director Neil LaBute took on the unenviable activity of remaking The Wicker Man with an American spin. The setup is identical, however it’s moved to a North American island. Nicolas Cage takes up the Edward Woodward function, and The Exorcist’s Ellen Burstyn slots into the Christopher Lee place.
It truly is an identical within the framing, however the outcomes are missing within the nuance, environment, and craft of the unique. Cage comes out of this as one of many guiltiest events for the movie’s failure with an overblown efficiency that could be nice for meme-worthy content material, however damages this remake’s probabilities of sincerity.
To check it to the unique is laughable, however unavoidable. This remake does the other of just about all the things Robin Hardy’s movie did so effectively. That wouldn’t be a problem if the 2006 movie broke new floor in its variations, however every determination is a foul one by way of reimagining the unique in any worthwhile manner.
So in that regard, sure, The Wicker Man (2006) is a sizzling contender for the worst horror remake of all time. It’s bought some unhealthy firm reminiscent of A Nightmare on Elm Avenue, Psycho, and The Omen, however there’s one thing significantly offensive about how blind to the unique The Wicker Man remake is.
The place it ended up gaining some (tainted) credibility was a member of the so unhealthy it’s good membership. Taken as its personal factor, the jarring environment and dreadful line reads are what make this a memorable expertise. So, whereas it could be a horrific remake of a basic, it’s removed from the worst film you’ll ever watch.