THE STORY: Out patrolling a California highway, police officer Edward Malus (Nicolas Cage) stops a station wagon to return a little girl’s lost doll. Moments later, a runaway truck slams into the station wagon, igniting it into a fiery wreck with the mother and child trapped inside. Edward fails to save them before the car explodes … and then spends months of his life choking down pills to get the image of their faces out of his head.
But Edward is about to get a second chance.
A desperate letter from his former fiancée, Willow (Kate Beahan), arrives at his home with no postmark. Willow came into his life and left just as unexpectedly years before. But now, her daughter Rowan has gone missing, and Edward is the only person she trusts to help locate her. She asks him to come to her home on a private island—Summersisle—a place with its own traditions where people observe a forgotten way of life. Edward seizes the opportunity to make his life right again, and soon finds himself on a seaplane bound for the islands of the Pacific Northwest.
But nothing is what it seems on isolated Summersisle, where a culture, dominated by its matriarch Sister Summersisle (Ellen Burstyn), is bound together by arcane traditions and a pagan festival known as “the Day of Death and Rebirth.” The secretive people of Summersisle only ridicule his investigation, insisting that a child named Rowan never existed there…or if she ever did was no longer alive.
But what Edward doesn’t know is that Willow’s plea for help has invited more into his life than a chance for redemption. In unraveling Summersisle’s closely held secrets, Edward is drawn into a web of ancient traditions and murderous deceit, and each step he takes closer to the lost child brings him one step closer to the unspeakable. And one step closer to The Wicker Man.
THE REVIEW: After watching the original The Wicker Man for the first time only a few days ago it isn’t hard to judge the 1973 vs. the 2006 version. The 1973 version wasn’t considered a great horror movie because it was violent, however the makers of the 2006 version didn’t get that message. Actually, senseless violence has infected every new horror movie. The art of making scary movies has changed. There used to be movies that were spooky or scary because they were tormenting you with terrifying situations now a horror movie only needs a bucket of blood. The Wicker Man (2006) doesn’t try to make anyone think or use symbolism. Instead, the new and unimproved version of The Wicker Man tries to shock the audience with spooky scenes that use the typical scary looking child and every other special effect they could think of to push the movie to an uninteresting extreme.
Nicholas Cage, who usually picks great movies, finds himself in a mess. Unlike the original, the remake pushes and pushes and pushes the limit until they hope the audience breaks under the weight of fear. We have become desensitized to the same gimmicks and special effects because they have become overused. The Wicker Man (2006) uses all of the same effects and maneuvers that movies have been selling for years and we’ve grown too accustomed to these scenes and they no longer strike any chord.
FRANKLY: First and foremost, I didn’t find the original The Wicker Man to be a “classic” and that didn’t bode well in my opinion of the remake. Why the original needed to be remade is anyone’s guess. The Wicker Man (2006) is garbage based on a movie that should have never been recycled in the first place.
+ Charlie Craine