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.
Stream The Wicker Man
What are people saying?
What are critics saying?
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.
Robin Hardy's 1973 cult horror film passed through several distributors, several versions, and several bankruptcies, picking up a powerful reputation along the way.
It remains a how-to model for making something that fancies itself a slow-burn thriller—until it isn’t slow-burning whatsoever.
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.
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.
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.