Starring: Nicolas Cage, Leelee Sobieski, Ellen Burstyn, Kate Beahan, Diane
Directed by: Neil LaBute
Story: A sheriff investigating the disappearance of a young girl from a small
island discovers there's a larger mystery to solve among the island's
secretive, neo-pagan community.
Behold ladies and gentleman, I have found the next Midnight Movie classic!
And no it's not Snakes on a Plane, sorry. Being a critic I try my best to keep
an open mind when it comes to movies. For the last decade I've opened up
to many things. Remakes, silent films and even the down and dirty unknown
low budget material. I review anything as long as it has a story, even if it's
not so great. I usually don't mind remakes, in fact I've been pretty fond of
them. I enjoyed John Moore's The Omen (don't hurt me please), I loved John
Carpenter's The Thing and I have a special place in my heart for David
Cronenberg's The Fly. Hell I even thought the Dawn of the Dead remake was
good in parts. As you can see I don't nessecerely hate remakes. Some are
good and some are bad, that's just how movies are. You either like them or
you don't, it's all up to the individual who watches them. I just got tired of
them after a while and I'm sure most of you reading this feel the same way.
Today it seems like every movie ever made can and will be redone.
The 2006 release of The Wicker Man is one of these prime examples. In the
movie we follow a man named Edward Malus. Edward is just your average
cop. He writes tickets, he fights crime and he rids the world of it's baked
goods. After a tragic accident Edward receives a letter from a former lover.
This desperate cry for help has Edward on a search for a missing child. His
search brings him to Summersisle, a remote sheltered community in the
Puget Sound off of the Washington coast. The seemingly idyllic community is
filled with women who are led by Sister Summersisle, the matriach of the
island who is treated almost like a goddess. The suspicious villagers won't
cooperate with Malus, but he continues his search and becomes frustrated.
Edward soon realizes that the towns people are liars who are keeping a dark
secret. He soon begins to suspect a wider conspiracy about the strange,
cultish nature of the inhabitants and their so called "traditions".
Alright let's cut straight to the facts here. This movie has been done before
(and much better I might add). We know the story and we know how it ends.
We really didn't need to see a newer adaptation of The Wicker Man. You can't
relive the magic of the original film, which is why this version tries to go into a
different direction. There were a lot of changes made into this new movie.
None of them were for the good either. All the good and interesting pieces of
Anthony Shaffer's original script isn't present here. This version of The
Wicker Man tries to be more serious. They tried way too hard but didn't go
very far. I blame it on three things; Neil LaBute (for writing it), Nicolas Cage
(for acting in it) and Angelo Badalamenti (for doing the music). Those are my
main three reasons why I felt this movie didn't work.
I don't know why Neil made the changes with the new script. Apparently he
didn't accomplish much. Usually when I write reviews for remakes I would
make comparisons as to what was changed and what wasn't. I can't do that
with The Wicker Man. It's pointless, and a waste of time. It's like comparing
sex to getting your dick chopped off. I'll just say that a lot of it was changed.
Not for the good trust me, Neil LaBute did a fantastic job in making us want
to watch something else. Much like the original this movie has very little in
terms of content. It's a PG-13 rated movie. There's no nudity and no sexual
humor. The original movie played a great deal on religion and natural butt
naked freedom. This doesn't, it's not there. It's all been replaced with bees
and miserable characters with no souls.
Seeing Nicolas Cage beat the living shit out of women was the only exciting
part of the movie. Cage could very well be the next Chuck Norris if he keeps
it up. The rest of the movie is dull and unsatisfying. If you've seen the
original then you already know what happens. You know the twist and what
happens at the end. It's the same dilemma here. Speaking of the end, who's
idea was it to give Jason Ritter and James Franco a cameo at the last scene
before the credits? Oh wait that's right, we already know who's fault it is. The
additional ending was pointless and made the movie even more unbearable.
This movie has no heart, it's unsure of what kind of audience it wants. With
the family friendly rating you would figure that it's meant to attract the
younger audience. It's not, you wont find anything exciting or "in your face"
about it. The story is told in a traditional/old fashioned way. The so called
"scares" in the movie don't even work, the music took care of that.
Remakes seem to be a popular trend today. It doesn't matter what genre of
film it is. If there was any movie that could keep me away from remakes for
the rest of my life, this is it. This movie is funny for all the wrong reasons.
The story itself is just as bland as Nicolas Cage's acting. Don't get me wrong,
I never had a problem with the man before. If you ask me Nicolas cage makes
a terrific bad guy. I don't hate the man, but he doesn't fit this role at all.
Cage was at the wrong place at the wrong time and most obviously in the
wrong god damn movie. Knowing that Nicolas Cage produced this makes me
sick to my stomach. The first half of the movie felt tailor made to make Cage
look good. It doesn't work, nothing in this movie works. The music, the
dialog, the characters, even the god forbidden story. This movie was
pointless. Not to mention it's a laugh riot. It's way more funny than it is
shocking. You could throw Anna Farris in the movie and call it "Scary Movie 5".
This release is an unfunny spoof of the original UK classic. To sum it all up,
it's pointless. Nothing in this movie works, it's a complete waste of time and
money. Watching this was like watching "When a Stranger Calls" all over
again. This film should mark the end of horror remakes. This killed it for me, I
already have my foot down. But we'll see what happens, remakes just may
live on. There's no stopping it, we continue to feed money into the machine.
What does the machine give back? Even more remakes (wow now that's a
shocker). We should just give our money to Satan, I'm sure he's tired of
remakes too. Especially the ones that are watered down from an R rating.
Why would somebody take a brilliant piece of material, cut out the sexual and
religious satire and turn it into something you'll want to forget? This movie is
nothing more than a giant insult. It did not need to be made. The Wicker Man
'06 needs to be literally burned (pun intended) and erased from existence.
Genres: Horror, Mystery,
Runtime: 97 minutes
Studio: Warner Bros
Online since: February 20th, 2006
Review done by: Nightmare Child