The Wicker Man

Do you think movie remakes are better than the original? You would think that after 33 years, there would be more people around that know how to make better movies. Nope. 2006’s The Wicker Man is a remake of the 1973 Christopher Lee movie and it’s 25 minutes longer. But the IMDB scores are 3.7 for the new one and 7.6 for the old one. So what went wrong?

The short summary of this movie is that there is this island somewhere in the UK with a bunch of weirdo people that are part of some cult that manage to lure in a person from the mainland and then sacrifice him. They lure him using a convoluted plot of having some young girl mysteriously disappear and he investigates and interacts with all the islanders and they all have to play there part in the plot.

The original movie wasn’t a fast paced thriller. For the first half of the movie, the cop is walking around the stupid island and talking to the stupid people. The new movie adds 25 more minutes to give the cop, who will be the guy lured, a motivation to go to the island. After that its beat for beat. They don’t improve the story to give us a reason to care about the islanders. Why are they there? Why did they make a cult? We are told that they know about the mainland, yet they chose the island? Whats so good about the island and the cult that they don’t just leave and join the world? A good conflict should make you care about the good guy and the bad guy. You want to be able to understand how they got to where they are and you’re on the edge of your seat because you don’t know how it will end. This movie does none of that. You have a bad guy because he is a bad guy.

They do change some of the character names and genders. Not because it makes the movie more modern or interesting, but its probably to avoid legal problems. I can’t think that they spent 10 minutes debating the benefits of changing the missing mcguffin girl from Rowan Morrison to Rowan Woodward. Maybe it was because they shot it in USA and couldn’t bother to find British sounding actors. The original was a British island. This one was just some island.

The rest of the movie is pretty shit. This was our first Nicholas Cage movie in the Bad Movie Night and my god his acting is shit. 2006 was the somewhere in the years where he made like a million movies a week and didn’t care about acting. He was just Nic Cage in every movie. He doesn’t look like a guy with a drug habit. So either he’s a bad gambler or he’s bad with economics. The rest of the cast doesn’t stand out either. But that’s not their fault. The script and editing was really shit and did them no favours.

Why do people remake a good movie only to make a worse version? The writer and director is Neil Labute and IMDB says he directed a bunch of shorts and some good movies early in his career. What the fuck was he thinking during this movie? I don’t know. Maybe he had to pay off his gambling debt. He costs the funders $42m to make it and it only brought in $11m.

This movie isn’t even a ‘so bad its good’ movie. Don’t watch it.