I saw the original “The Wicker Man” movie a few years ago. Unfortunately, I had already seen the infamous ending of this movie and so some of the surprise was lost. Despite that, it is a very haunting movie and deserves its place in the annals of horror history.
None of that was captured in the 2006 remake, however. While the general premise of a secluded island community with pagan beliefs remains, they’ve changed enough things to sort of ruin everything. This movie is incredibly frustrating to watch.
Of course there’s Nicholas Cage’s insane performance. Cage sounds like he just woke up most of the time, but the times when he doesn’t are some grade-A batshit crazy over-acting. Even given how obnoxious everyone on the island is, Cage doesn’t come across as likable at all, and it’s hard to sympathize with his investigation. At every opportunity, he reminds everyone that he is a cop. Specifically, a cop in California. Who is investigating a case in Washington. A case which is personal to him, and not actually a case in the strictest sense. He is perplexed when nobody is having any of his shit.
Willow, his ex-fiance who summoned him, isn’t much better. She spends most of her time on-screen going “Well…”, “But…”, “Ya see…” and averting her gaze; you know, generally doing everything she can to avoid actually giving any information. You know that one relative you have who’s always posting cryptic statuses on Facebook, and when anyone asks what’s wrong they just say “You wouldn’t understand”? That is her performance, but worse because you don’t get the satisfaction of knowing that she’s been cut out of your great-grandfather’s will and most likely will be fired from the local Applebee’s soon.
The high-point of this has to be the finale, where Cage pulls out all the stops. You’ve no doubt seen clips of this on the internet before. If not, I wouldn’t watch this movie just for that, go find it on YouTube, but it is a sight to behold.
- It’s always great to see these kinds of performances from Nicholas Cage
- James Franco has a brief appearance as a future victim
- One of those rare movies where everyone is an unlikable douche-bag.