The Wicker Man - Final Cut (2013)
Movie InfoThis film is definitive version of Robin Hardy's thriller of pagan worshippers on a remote Scottish island. Seen for decades only in mutilated copies, the new Studiocanal restoration is the culmination of a long search for the complete director's cut. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the cult classic. After receiving an anonymous letter about a missing 12-year-old girl, devoutly Christian cop Edward Woodward travels by seaplane to a remote Scottish island to investigate. But the islanders welcome neither his badge nor religious devotion, for laird of the isle Christopher Lee and his devoted followers worship only the pagan gods of old - and those gods demand a sacrifice. Woodward fears for the missing girl's life and follows every possible lead to find her - despite the islanders' interference - before she becomes a human sacrificial lamb. (c) Rialto … More
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Critic Reviews for The Wicker Man - Final Cut
The conclusion is chilling, disturbing and perfectly in keeping with what has taken place before.
A pleasingly literate script by Anthony Shaffer ("Sleuth") toys with the conventions of missing-person stories while capturing a sense of menace lurking beneath the everyday.
If not quite the holy grail of horror films, than a holy terror just as well, lying lovingly in wait.
It remains a how-to model for making something that fancies itself a slow-burn thriller-until it isn't slow-burning whatsoever.
Many a film has tried to replicate this wonderfully off-kilter vibe -- and a few have come close -- but none has quite pulled it off.
It all helps it make a little more sense on a narrative level without diminishing everything that made it a cult classic in the first place.
No, it hasn't dated particularly well, and Hardy's rampant misogynistic tendencies feel even more appalling now. But it's still an unmissable one-off.
The strengths are overpowering; Edward Woodward's towering performance, Anthony Shaffer's brilliantly nasty script, Paul Giovanni's weirdie folk music, and that matchlessly horrifying ending.
While its influence has grown over the years, The Wicker Man still has the feel of a film apart, an island detached from the mainstream.
The film's driftier interludes, however raggedly psychedelic, remain crucial to its aura, one of hypnotically sinister good cheer.
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