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 Woodward. 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 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 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 relate 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.
– 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.