Cert: 15 Runtime: 88 mins Director: Robin Hardy Cast: Edward Woodward, Christopher Lee, Diane Cilento and Britt Ekland
Come. It is time to keep your appointment with the Wicker Man.
Since the passing of Christopher Lee The Wicker Man has been on my mind for a while. This is truly the greatest British horror film ever. It to this day twists the mind of people and leaves shivers down your spin. So what is The Wicker Man about then? Sergeant Howie (Edward Woodward) arrives on the small Scottish island of Summerisle to investigate the report of a missing child. A conservative Christian, the policeman observes the residents’ frivolous sexual displays and strange pagan rituals, particularly the temptations of Willow (Britt Ekland), daughter of the island magistrate, Lord Summerisle (Christopher Lee). The more Sergeant Howie learns about the islanders’ strange practices, the closer he gets to tracking down the missing child.
Shaffer’s brilliant screenplay is one of the film’s fundamental elements, the direction by Robin Hardy is what truly makes the whole movie what it is. Despite being under a serious budgetary problem, Hardy managed to bring to life Shaffer’s thriller taking advantage of the script’s exhaustively researched plot to create a movie that was ambiguously captivating and of a simply otherworldly nature. By blending a natural, semi-documentary visual look with the unforgettable folk score by Paul Giovanni , Hardy created a joyful atmosphere that despite being cheerful and playful at first sight, becomes increasingly haunting as the plot unfolds. Another of the film’s best features are the incredible performance of the members of the cast. Edward Woodward is simply perfect in the difficult role of Sergeant Howie, delivering one of the best performances in the history of the horror genre as the main character of this brutal clash of cultures. The legendary Christopher Lee plays Lord Summerisle, owner and ruler of the island, and one of the movie’s most interesting characters. Lee literally becomes Summerisle and fills the role with his natural charm and breathtaking talent.
Director Hardy managed to convince Diane Cilento to come out of retirement and play a part in “The Wicker Man”, adding her experience to the film’s assortment of talents. Finally, Britt Ekland plays Willow, a local of Summersile who gets interested in the newly arrived cop. Ekland may not give a performance as amazing as her three co-stars, but she gives the eroticism the movie needs in an unforgettable scene.”The Wicker Man” may look like another typical thriller with the same kind of mystery and suspense that has been done over and over for a long long time, but it’s actually one of the most intelligent and interesting movies ever made. It is a brilliantly written movie that invites its audience to question the nature of heroism and morality, and to witness how far mankind can go for their beliefs. While it really looks dated by now, it’s still one of those movies where everything fits in the right place, making the movie as a whole feel like perfect. “The Wicker Man” is definitely a must-see, and not only for the horror genre fans.