The Wicker Man


Another remake of a classic ’70s horror movie, another butcher job, Neil LaBute sacrificing pretty much everything that made Robin Hardy’s original so very special. We now have a backstory, natch, with Nic Cage’s bug-eyed motorcycle cop witnessing a mother and daughter wiped out in a car crash. Haunted, his frazzled brain subjecting viewers to a barrage of over-exposed flashbacks, he welcomes the chance to toddle off to Summerisle in search of redemption/the missing nipper of his ex-fiancée. Instead he finds a matriarchal community, bee-keeping harpies all, led by Ellen Burstyn. Which is a bugger given he’s a bloke who’s allergic to bees.

Anyone expecting another shrewd, scandalous prattle of the sexes drama from the writer/director of In The Company Of Men will be savagely disappointed – Cage mugging a woman for her bear costume is as sharp as it gets. But the real crime is that it’s neither scary nor purposeful, LaBute replacing Hardy’s sensual, sun-dappled shudders and Christian/ Pagan dichotomy with histrionic flashcuts, dream-within-dream schlocks and wince-worthy bellowing (“STAND AWAY FROM THE BIKE!”).

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