Critic Reviews



Based on 16 critic reviews provided by
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.
The Wicker Man is influential not just on subsequent horror cinema, but on the thriller genre in general in the way it sets an artfully composed series of traps for its unwitting protagonist, expertly wrong-footing both him and the audience until the devastating ending.
Time Out
It remains a how-to model for making something that fancies itself a slow-burn thriller—until it isn’t slow-burning whatsoever.
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.
A truly cerebral fear flick, edgy, brooding, packing the power to freeze your bones and claim your sleepless thoughts at two in the morning.
Anthony Shaffer penned the screenplay which, for sheer imagination and near-terror, has seldom been equalled.
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.
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.
Robin Hardy's 1973 cult horror film passed through several distributors, several versions, and several bankruptcies, picking up a powerful reputation along the way.

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