The Wickerman Review

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[The Wickerman]
Plot:A sheriff investigating the disappearance of a young girl from a small island discovers there's a larger mystery to solve among the island's secretive, neo-pagan community.

Cast: Nicolas Cage, Ellen Burstyn, Kate Beahan, Frances Conroy, Molly Parker, Leelee Sobieski, Diane Delano, Michael Wiseman, Erika-Shaye Gair, Christa Campbell, Emily Holmes, Zemphira Gosling, Matthew Walker, Christine Willes, Sophie Hough.

My Thoughts:Decent remake.

Review:Sometimes it's not a good idea to remake an old horror/thriller movie and toss a huge star into the lead role. "The Wickerman" remake pretty much proves that point. Nicolas Cage stars in the pic as officer Edward Malus, who after receiving a note from his ex wife Willow (Kate Beahan) that her daughter has vanished...springs into action and heads off to the island of Summersisle to help her. And this is also where the film just completely falls apart. "The Wickerman" starts off in quite intense fashion with a car accident and an explosion...but then once it settles in to tell it's story it does so in such boring fashion that you can't help but doze off. Who hasn't seen a movie like this before? I mean really...a weird island, with weird people, who have weird behaviors and weird beliefs. It's all very ho-hum and nothing comes as a shock to the viewer, which isn't good when your main goal is to entertain people. Cage as Edward Malus tries his best with what's given to him, and while his acting skills really do shine through in this film, his performance is quite hampered by alot of contributing factors. Specifically Kate Beahan's character of Willow. The two just seem so different from one another, Edward is a bit high strung and Willow is just serene and calm. This is especially bad because according to the backstory, we're supposed to believe the two of them actually had a relationship way back when. Opposites do attract but in the case of these two it's very hard to buy into that at all. "The Wickerman" also wanders around aimlessly alot, and kind of makes you wonder what exactly did director Neil Labute want to do with his script? Cage just wanders around being confronted by more weird cultists, and seeing visions of the little girl he failed to save from the car accident at the beginning of the film. Not exactly a recipe for excitement, but Cage's character is also not a very bright detective either. It becomes obvious to the viewer that these people are hiding something from him, something involving the missing little girl Rowan. But Cage doesn't seem to quite be able to grasp that concept early enough to get down to the nitty gritty of things. Not sure if Labute was trying to portray Cage's character as a perfect gentlemen or not but when you've been on a strange island for 3 days, and people are giving you the run around and you're still not getting the answers you's time to get atleast a little bit more aggresive. Cage's character eventually does and that's where the film does shine a bit, when Cage has had enough of the lies, misleadings, and deception and goes around kicking in doors and screaming at people. This sets off an even more shocking climax where the film takes a turn for the disturbing and the shocking. The question is though, where was all of this in the previous hour and 30 minutes or so?? It seems Labute knew how to end his film on the right note, but he could never get the middle and most important parts right. This does a very surmountable degree of damage to "The Wickerman", an amount of damage that not even Nicolas Cage and Leelee Sobiesky in her handful of scenes in the film could repair. "The Wickerman" tries to be a mystery, but there's nothing really mysterious about it...or entertaining for that matter. With the exception of one twist that comes at the end of the film, "The Wickerman" fails at it's attempt to be a great thriller, and doesn't even come close to being a horror film. The original was much better.

Pros:Nicolas Cage has some good scenes here and there, the final 20 minutes is one of the movies few bright spots.

Cons:Alot of wandering around by the characters, resulting in a whole lot of nothing. Kate Beahan is too reserved, and the supporting characters come off as goofy rather than creepy.

Overall:Might be fit for huge Nic Cage fans...but will be 10 bucks wasted to people just looking for a good horror movie.

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