Edward Malus (Nicolas Cage), a California highway patrol officer, finds himself on the reclusive island of Summerisle looking for a lost girl after receiving a mysterious letter from a woman from his past (Kate Beahan). Nothing on the island appears to be quite what it seems and as his search hits dead end after dead end he grows more and more desperate.
While watching The Wicker Man, I thought it was supposed to be a thriller with some comical elements thrown in since the film attempted to be scary and it was pretty funny. To my infinite amusement, the four genres listed on IMDb are drama, horror, thriller and mystery. I can't believe that a filmmaker (save Uwe Boll and Ed Wood) could fail so horribly at creating a horror film but Neil LaBute does just that. Well, I haven't seen the original but I'm willing to bet that some thought went into that production although I can't say the same thing here. The screenplay was awful, filled with horrible dialog and a bunch of silly sequences that will encourage laughter more than anything else. The story itself was interesting but the way they played it out was just silly and obvious.
After a fast introduction of Cage's character, things quickly go downhill when he actually lands on the island. The residents are awful at lying and watching them interact with Cage's character was just annoying. So, the audience spends about an hour watching Cage search the island for clues and it's quite unexciting since it's really just him scaring himself and interacting with badly written characters. I really have no idea what the director was trying to accomplish here. He portrayed the women of Summerisle as all men hating, hard working and distant freaks. He portrayed Cage as a sturdy policeman but he wasn't able to see through them. Neil did have a good filming location and that island was pretty creepy since it had that fear of isolation and being unable to communicate with other people that weren't on the island. Besides for that, Neil pretty much threw in the towel on everything else.
The acting was awful and the absurdity of the dialog messed up all of the performances. Nicolas Cage was just terrible in the leading role. His facial reactions were over the top and his line delivery was very non convincing. Kate Beahan just had this wide eye look on her face throughout the entire thing and she easily gave the worst performance. Ellen Burstyn was shockingly horrible and this is one film she should not be remembered for. I used to like Leelee Sobieski but her performance here was pretty bad especially during her fight scene with Cage. Everyone else was bad but the previous four stand out as the worst of the bunch. Overall, The Wicker Man failed on many levels and it's not worth watching. Rating 3/10
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