Unit 3: The Wicker Man review.
The Wicker Man (1973) directed by Robin Hardy is a film well known for its paganism occult atmosphere, this classic film has blended psychological horror and mystery in to a well-crafted film hybrid. The look of the film is potently vintage this compliments the story and general mood of the production, in more recent versions of the this film, footage that had been lost for decades have been edited into the movie. It is clear to see when and where these parts of the movie come as the visual and audio quality drop dramatically. But again this strengthens the vintage feel of the film and in doing so makes the production feel more like an experience.(fig1)
The plot follows a policeman investigating the disappearance of a young girl on Summer isle near England this remote place is famed for its unique fruit produce. As he arrives by plane it soon becomes clear to him that the island is has an underlying secret which all the residents are a part of. Many aspects of the pagan religion are portrayed throughout out this film some may argue that this film stained the people of this religion and may have made certain people hostile to this specific religion, as the narrative does focus on much more taboo subjects as sex and animal or human sacrifice. From a Christian point of view it is very easily misread as evil and sadistic. What this film does well is almost convince the viewers that what the people of this island do is perfectly normal as they don’t portray any of the characters as insane instead it a drastically different way of life. However it is Sergeant Neil Howie who is subjected to mental torment and anxiety. (fig2)
This film can be seen as a tragedy, the hero does die this for me was very unsatisfying, being accustomed to films where the hero makes a daring escape at the last minute. I was slightly confused as to why the sergeant didn’t even try to break the wicker, which is not the strongest wood around. This submission to his fate at the end shows a dramatic change in his attitude toward survival, as earlier in the film he risk his safety by disguising himself as “punch” to infiltrate the pagan ritual to save the girl. If he was so willing to do this, why not even attempt to escape? Instead he decides to sing a gospel and accept his destiny.