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The Wicker Man


Latest Home Video

Dec 18, 2006

MPAA Rating:



Nicholas Cage


2006 Warner Brothers

Still shot from the movie: The Wicker Man.

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Overall C-
Run Time

Making the Grades

Should you be afraid of The Wicker Man? I'm a bit of a wimp when it comes to horror movies, but in this case, I found myself laughing more than I have during any of the comedies I've seen this summer. And no, this production was not intended to be funny.

Nicolas Cage (who also takes a producing credit on this film) plays Edward Malus, a California highway cop who takes a stress leave after witnessing a horrible car crash. But his rest is interrupted when he receives a letter from a former girlfriend. In the note, Willow (Kate Beahan) pleads with the officer to come to her home on a small piece of land off the coast of Washington to investigate the disappearance of her daughter. Felling morally obligated, Malus makes his way to Summersisle.

On the private island, he meets a group of locals that redefine the term "peculiar." Mainly women, they are anything but helpful in his quest. Finally discovering Willow, now known as Sister Willow (a title also used by all of the other women in the commune), he thinks he may finally get some answers to his many questions. However, it doesn't take long for him to realize this is the last source from which he can expect to find truth.

As poorly made as this movie is, this may prove to be the least of worries for parents. Family viewers are more likely to be concerned by the aforementioned traffic accident, which is repeated several times, as well as the theme. The latter deals with pagan rituals, human sacrifices (one being depicted), and a plot involving selective human breeding (jars containing human embryos are shown). Residents of this imaginary matriarchal society support these concepts without facing any consequence for their actions.

Fortunately, if you decide to pass on this film, you can assure the kids they're not missing much. This contrived yarn is full of overworked performances, unnecessary dialogue, illogical actions, and a musical score that serves as a blaring foghorn to alert you when to be scared.

Nearing the end of this marathon, with a haunting melody pounding, Cage's character emerges from a dank dark well in which he has been mysteriously imprisoned. By this point he's spent what seems like days dealing with strange women, a couple of zombie-like twins (Jacqueline and Joyce Robbins), and other incidents that would have sent you and I swimming for the mainland. Dripping and cold, he utters the profound (and obvious) phrase, "Something bad is about to happen. I can feel it." Let that be a warning for all who consider seeing The Wicker Man.

Discussion Ideas After The Movie

Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about The Wicker Man.

It is often noted the island on which this society lives is private land. Are these characters justified in feeling they are above the law of the governing state?

Canadian Movie Ratings

14A Violence.
AB 14A Frightening Scenes, Distrubing Content.
MB PG Not Recommended For Young Children, Frightening Scenes, Language May OffendCoarse Language. Frightening Scenes.-----
ON 14A Coarse Language. Mature theme. Not recommended for children. Disturbing content.
QC 13+

Canadian Home Video Rating: 14A

Watch @ Home

Details on home video releases of The Wicker Man...

The DVD release of The Wicker Man includes the version of the movie shown theatrically and an unrated version featuring an alternate ending. In addition, the disc offers commentaries by Neil LaBute (writer/director), Leelee Sobieski and Kate Beahan (cast members), Joel Plotch (editor) and Lynette Meyer (costume designer), as well as theatrical trailers. Audio tracks are available in English (Dolby Digital Surround Sound 5.1), with subtitles in English, French and Spanish.

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