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The Wicker Tree (2011)

 -  Drama | Horror  -  27 January 2012 (USA)
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Ratings: 4.0/10 from 1,706 users  
Reviews: 41 user | 88 critic

Charmed by the residents of Tressock, Scotland, two young missionaries accept the invitation to participate in a local festival, fully unaware of the consequences of their decision.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Jacqueline Leonard ...
Lady Delia Morrison
...
...
...
Prue Clarke ...
Mary Hellier
Lesley Mackie ...
David Plimmer ...
Jack
...
Old Gentleman
...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Astrid Azurdia ...
Patricia Gow
Alessandro Conetta ...
Orlando
Keith Easdale ...
...
Trailer Trash Video Dancer
Stuart Glasgow ...
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Storyline

Young Christians Beth and Steve, a gospel singer and her cowboy boyfriend, leave Texas to preach door-to-door in Scotland . When, after initial abuse, they are welcomed with joy and elation to Tressock, the border fiefdom of Sir Lachlan Morrison, they assume their hosts simply want to hear more about Jesus. How innocent and wrong they are. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Accept our sacrifice

Genres:

Drama | Horror

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality, nudity and violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 January 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cowboys for Christ  »

Box Office

Budget:

$7,750,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Filming was due to start in September 2007 but the film was delayed for financial reasons. It was later announced the film would shoot from April 2008 in Dumfries and Galloway. A week before the shoot, Dumfries and Galloway Council announced the filming had been stopped due to financial reasons. Filming eventually started in July 2009 in Haddington, Gorebridge, Midlothian and Dallas. See more »

Goofs

When Steve is laying in bed his shorts are white with red and blue plaid pattern. When we see him through the eyes of the raven, they are dark blue overall, and after the raven leaves they are back to the red, blue and white plaid shorts. See more »

Quotes

Old Gentleman: But can fate be altered? This is a question that every religion has tried to answer, and the answer is almost certainly no.
See more »

Connections

Follows The Wicker Man (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

Deck of Cards
Written by T. Texas Tyler (as T. Tex Tyler)
Licensed Courtesy of EMI
Published by Campbell & Connelly Co. Ltd.
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Wow, this was bitterly disappointing
10 May 2012 | by (Cheltenham, Uk) – See all my reviews

The Wicker Tree is more disappointing than I ever thought it could be. Terrible acting, clunky direction, naff music, unbelievable characters.

In the original, Howie's character was a believable, devout Christian - committed, horrified at Summerisle's pagan practices and living out a believable battle between his commitment to faith and all the temptations that Summerisle presents. In contrast, the Wicker Tree's Beth and Steve are shallow caricatures, lame stereotypes played for cheap laughs. Their mission to evangelise 'heathen Scotland' doesn't ring true. Relocating from a remote island to mainland UK removes any hint of genuine threat and isolation (you don't for one moment believe this place actually exists) and, given that Hardy is a Brit, that kind of lazy writing and directing is unforgivable. Clearly no research went in to trying to authentically present these places and characters - S+B's relationship is unconvincing from the first moment, their behaviour dubious, Beth's back-story is laughable and their methods of faith-sharing unconvincing guess work on Hardy's part. These things are also true of the characters' portrayal in Hardy's book (Cowboys for Christ) so it's no surprise that the film lazily regurgitates these errors. By the time their inevitable demise ensues, you've long ceased caring and you're just left hoping that the pay-off for these wretched cardboard cut-outs is worth it. It's not.

Clearly the Wicker Man is fantastical, but the joy and horror of it stems from the possibility that it could.. just be.. a true story. Tree, on the other hand, is like a poorly thought out play written by 15 year olds for a GCSE drama production. Everything that was bold, funny, scary, shocking and beautiful about the first film is (I assume unintentionally) mocked or (intentionally) rehashed. In 90 minutes there was one moving moment and only one genuinely (and intentionally) funny scene. Thematically, any attempt to comment on faith and religion, hope and virtue, sacrifice and naivete, love and death, nature and fear all go out of the window - if they were ever welcomed in to the room in the first place. The whole thing stinks. The music is tagged on, unmemorable and cringe-worthy. The comedy characters are woefully misjudged and their story arcs embarrassing. It doesn't matter how many breasts are thrust at the screen, there is zero erotic tension

  • Steve's temptation and subsequent actions are so ludicrous that


Woodward would turn in his grave if he could see his character's virtues and struggles being so lazily lambasted.

Did I also mention: it's not at all scary. The Christopher Lee scene should have gone straight to the cutting room floor. The dialogue is naff. The acting is - for the most part and excluding Clive Russell - amateur. The rituals and rites of May Day and the Riding of the Laddie fail to engage or intimidate.

Pluses? The scenery is nice. The poster art is excellent. Nic Cage isn't in it - although I'd watch that sacrilegious Wicker Man remake 10 times before I ever sat down to watch this again. Why? because for other people to demonstrate sheer stupidity in tearing apart and misunderstanding the Wicker Man legend is one thing - for Robin Hardy to do it in such a cheap, tacky, boring, patronising way is something else entirely and he should be duly ashamed.

If you love the Wicker Man, curiosity will drive to you see this anyway
  • I'd be really interested to hear if people found it more bearable or


less disappointing than I did. Am I being too harsh? Whatever - I won't be watching it again to find out.


15 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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