Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Film Review: The WIcker Man (1973)

Robin Hardy's The Wicker Man is an art house documentary on the Pagan worshipers of Scotland. This film focuses on the use of sex as a way to perform religious activities. The belief that the flow of energy is in a cycle and that a person does not truly die but passes on into the store of energy that runs the universe, is strong in this film. According to Elaine Macintyre it is a, "Thriller, fantasy or musical. art house film or horror flick... undisputed cult classic." Macintyre,Elaine.(2011).ElainMacintyre.net.Cult Classic Film Review: The WIcker Man (1973) 

Fig 1: The Wicker Man Movie Poster
The plot begins with a Sergeant Howie who is tasked with the investigation of a missing girl by the name of Rowan Morrisson. He goes around an island in Scotland, questioning its inhabitants about the girl. To his frustration, the residents of the island do not reveal their knowledge of the girl. As he digs deeper into the matter, he discovers that everyone on the island is trying to conceal the disappearance of the girl, Rowan.

Fig 2: A Pagan ritual portrayed in the movie.

He unearths her grave and discovers a hare in the casket. There are many references regarding the fact that Rowan has been reborn into a hare and is living in the fields where she is most happy.
There are constant clashes between Christianity and Paganism that are highlighted in the film.The Sergeant, being a Christian, is constantly displeased with the practices of the people on the island.
The focus on sex in this movie is very high. It is hinted that the children are taught about it from a very young age.
The editing of this movie gives an interesting feel to the environment of the film itself. Certain scenes were restored and have a 'home movie' feel about them. The heavy contrasts in the hues give the scenes a 'burning' look that causes distress to the audience.

Fig 3: Sergeant Howie

The Sergeant later finds the girl and realizes that she is a subject of sacrifice to the gods in order to receive a good crop that year. He frees her, but is caught by the rest of the people and is used as a sacrifice himself.
He is placed inside a large man made of wicker and is burned.
Until the last fifteen minutes of the film, the practices of the villagers do not seem threatening. They merely come across as a different way of life. In a way they may even be deemed as mystical and beautiful. However, when the idea of killing a human being to please a deity comes into play, there are certain flaws to that concept of beauty. As Nigel Honeybone correctly states, "It is a genuinely shocking ending to an otherwise fairly quiet film." Honeybone,Nigel.(2010).HorrorNews.net.The Wicker Man (1973)
Fig 4: The Wicker Man

The Wicker Man is a fast paced film with a believable plot that could have been improved with better visuals. According to Damian Cannon,"Watching The Wicker Man is a truly strange and unsettling experience" Cannon,Damian.(1997).film.u-net.com.The Wicker Man (1973).

Bibliography and Illustration List:


Cannon,Damian.(1997).film.u-net.com.The Wicker Man (1973). Available online at http://www.film.u-net.com/Movies/Reviews/Wicker_Man.html (Accessed 6th December 2011)

Honeybone,Nigel.(2010).HorrorNews.net.The Wicker Man (1973) Available online at http://horrornews.net/12602/film-review-the-wicker-man-1973/  (Accessed 6th December 2011)

Macintyre,Elaine. (2011).ElainMacintyre.net.Cult Classic Film Review: The WIcker Man (1973) Available online at http://www.elainemacintyre.net/film_reviews/wicker_man.php (Accessed 6th December 2011)

Illustration List

Fig 1: Hardy, Robin.(1973).The Wicker Man. http://www.horror-movies.ca/horror-movie.php?id=1426

Fig 2:Hardy, Robin.(1973).The Wicker Man.http://kaseydriscoll.wordpress.com/tag/the-wicker-man/

Fig 3:Hardy, Robin.(1973).The Wicker Man.  http://movie2s.com/watch/155250/The_Wicker_Man_1973.html

Fig 4:Hardy, Robin.(1973).The Wicker Man.http://breakfastintheruins.blogspot.com/2010/12/14-wicker-man-robin-hardy-1973.html

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