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The Wicker Man

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United Kingdom · 1973
Rated R · 1h 34m
Director Robin Hardy
Starring Edward Woodward, Christopher Lee, Britt Ekland, Ingrid Pitt
Genre Horror

Police sergeant Neil Howie is called to an island village in search of a missing girl whom the locals claim never existed. Stranger still, however, are the rituals that take place there.

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What are people saying?

Megan Rochlin Profile picture for Megan Rochlin

This film was the inspiration for Midsommar, and I think this film is just scary in a way that Midsommar just doesn't quite achieve. This film is just so weirdly upsetting (in a good way!). You might see the ending coming, but the way it unfolds will definitely shock you. And the final image of the film... probably one of the most memorable and unsettling endings ever.

What are critics saying?


TV Guide Magazine by

The Wicker Man is intelligent entertainment that takes its subject seriously without resorting to gratuitous effects to make a point. It remains a fine example of occult horror that remains with the viewer well past its conclusion.


Empire by Adam Smith

The Wicker Man is, more than anything else, a film about what people can do in the name of religion or, more generally, belief. Its power comes not from appeals to the supernatural but from a deep understanding of our own undeniable nature. Horror doesn't get much closer to home than that.


Chicago Reader by Dave Kehr

Robin Hardy's 1973 cult horror film passed through several distributors, several versions, and several bankruptcies, picking up a powerful reputation along the way.


Time Out by David Fear

It remains a how-to model for making something that fancies itself a slow-burn thriller—until it isn’t slow-burning whatsoever.


ReelViews by James Berardinelli

A film that defies categorization, The Wicker Man can be considered to be a horror film, a psychological thriller, a musical, or a melodrama. In reality, since it includes elements of each of those types, it literally has something for just about everyone.


Los Angeles Times by Kenneth Turan

An odd, one-of-a-kind little film that features an involving plot by Anthony Shaffer and a performance by Christopher Lee that the iconic actor declares is his best. It also features paganism. Lots and lots of paganism.


The Guardian by Peter Bradshaw

There is genuine fear in its nightmarish tableaux: the breast-feeding woman holding an egg in the ruined churchyard is like a detail from Hieronymus Bosch. And that final sequence, with the eponymous Wicker Man, is inspired.

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