Wicker Man Remake: Good, Bad, and Ugly

Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree of Truth.

I loved the original Wicker Man with Edward Wood- ward. Given that it’s a pagan horror classic that’s low on gore and high on mystery and inspiration,  I was anxious to see the remake when I first heard about it a few years back. I mean, with paganism out of the closet in 2006 (vs 1973), just imagine what they could do with this film!

The Good:

– The scenery! Best thing about it! I like the scenery at least as much as I liked the mountains in Brokeback Mountain. Man, I just want a little rose-covered cottage like the doc’s!

– The matriarchal  society  was kinda fun, too, and I liked much of that whole premise even though it got too hokey for words near the end.

The Bad:

– The rewickering  of the plot. Sorry. Pun intended. Not sure what this remake intended.  Though they did a decent  job  of  explaining  why  technology   won’t  save Nicholas Cage’s character  and how the  sanctuary  is set up, it was too different from the original. I could not re- late Nicholas  Cage’s  character  to anything  at all of the caliber  of  Edward  Woodward’s  character  in  the  original—the   remade   “hero’s”   motivations   just   were   all wonky.

– Cage’s character. Period. Bad, bad, bad. I hated this guy. Okay, not hated. Too strong a word. Not that I can’t hate but I can’t summon that much emotion to hate him. But I strongly disliked him. I got really tired of his yelling at people, breaking and entering, cursing in front of their children,  punching  women  in  the  face,  showing  disrespect  to  anyone  and  everyone,  and  just  being  an  all- around jerk. I did not find him worthy enough to be the worthy sacrifice we were told at the end that he was. On the other hand, about 1/3 of the way into the movie, I was ready to light a torch myself.

– The  character  of Willow.  I desperately  wanted  to slap her (see,  this  movie  brought  out  my  violent  side) every time she opened her mouth. Could not get a sentence  out  to  save  her  life.  “Um….well….huh?   I  don’t know…do I?”

– The ritual. Argh. You call that raising energy? Even some naked dancing would have added…something.

The Ugly:

– Yes, the women are dominant and the men are subservient (seems  to be the theme this week for me!) The only men who get to remain on the island are apparently there for their women’s pleasure. Hmm,  okie-doke. But none of these men still have their tongues. Yeah. Right.