After reading so many praising reviews I was very motivated to watch The Wicker Man. First I considered watching the remake with Nicolas Cage first. But nobody seemed to be happy with that version and decided to leave that alone for now. So I watched the original and to be honest I am at a loss of words. This movie has to be one of the most overrated movies ever made. If you can even call this a movie. It was more of a musical than a conventional movie about cult traditions. As a true thriller / horror this fails miserably.
Be warned this review will contain (mild) spoilers.
From the moment Edward Woodward comes to the island it is obvious that something will happen to him. You don't have to be a genius to discover that. He is called to the island in order to find a missing girl. During his investigation he soon finds out that strange things are going on like villagers running around naked, having sex on the beach, pagan rituals, villagers singing songs. And because of this he suspects foul play. After witnessing these strange events you really beginning to expect that the viewer also is being made a fool of. The so called twist isn't a twist but just an ending. Since the result of the event in the end doesn't get revealed. This annoyed me a great deal. What was the point of this movie? To entertain me, to shock me, to educate me on ignorance or other man's religion? This movie is neither thrilling, scary or exciting. I did laugh at some scenes since it was so ridiculous. But overall it was so dull and irritating. Not once does the sergeant call for backup. Maybe he was proud, but he seemed quite intelligent so why didn't he? And if you suspect foul play you are not going to announce that. Certainly not to the people who you can't trust. In this case the whole village couldn't be trusted. It could be that he was blinded by his sense of justice. But even then it is a bit far fetched that he didn't make more of an effort to leave the island to get help. I really tried my best to understand why many reviewers liked this movie. I can only speculate and will keep those thoughts to myself since they can be considered rude. I do think that this movie is really bad. If it wasn't for Edward Woodward, Christopher Lee and some beautiful women I would fall a sleep. I am not a fan of musicals and I already had doubts of combining song and dance with thriller elements. The result is a movie that thanks to strange events and some songs starts out interesting but ultimately fails in surprising the viewer. No matter from what angle you look at it.
The real mystery and horror to me is the fact that they have made a remake of this poor movie. Why not make a movie about that thought and process? That would be far more intriguing and interesting than this.