The Wicker Man movie poster
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The Wicker Man movie poster

The Wicker Man Movie Review

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Nicolas Cage stars in The Wicker Man, a contrived "horror" movie about a man investigating the disappearance of a little girl amongst a village of freakish New Age women. I'm not kidding.

The Wicker Man follows police office officer Edward Malus (Cage), who travels to an isolated island in the San Juans (that's Washington state) to discover the truth about the disappearance of his ex-wife's little girl. As it turns out, his ex-wife (Kate Beahan) is a part of a neo-pagan community that has some very strange rituals, some extreme viewpoints and harsh guidelines on secrecy. As Malus soon finds out, the women refuse to acknowledge that the girl ever existed, while the few men on the island refuse to talk altogether. Was the girl murdered, and if so, to what purpose?

The movie was advertised as a horror movie because of its creepy atmosphere and random "hallucinations" where Malus sees the little girl. The scariest thing to me is how could a man like Malus still be allowed to have a gun if he can't discern mirages from reality? Anyway, The Wicker Man is hardly a horror movie. While it does have a couple jumpy scenes, there is really nothing in the movie that is actually supernatural or scary - which begs the question, did director Neil LaBute throw in these horror moments just to spice things up? After all, he must have known that his movie was a dreadful disaster from beginning to end.

Aside from the fact that the plot is cheesy, unbelievable and downright silly, the movie's number one pitfall is the acting of Nicolas Cage. In reality, Cage cannot be blamed for this massacre of words because he's just reading from a script, but a good actor should do one of two things when he or she encounters such a clump of poop-smeared pieces of paper: adapt the screenplay to his or her strengths, or don't take the project in the first place. Regardless, Cage is so freaking bad in this movie you'll be laughing out loud. Whether it's his completely abrasive attitude toward every character in the movie or the fact that he tries to get information out of people by waving his badge (which proves he is out of his jurisdiction, by the way) and shouting at them, "I'm a police officer!", he is just so jarring here it is hard to handle. Everything is overly dramatic for no good reason.

In addition to the acting, the plot, the characters and the ending are all ridiculously bad.

The Wicker Man is a complete f**k-up of a film, to put things lightly. Avoid this one at all costs.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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