Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Film Review - The Wicker Man

Fig.1 Poster Art
Robin Hardy's The Wicker Man made in 1973 is a very surreal early seventies cult horror and musical. There are many scenes within the movie that make the viewer feel genuinely frightened for the police officer, Sergeant Howie (Edward Woodward) The basic plot of the film, follows Sergeant Howie to a secluded Scottish isle, where there is more than a case of disappearance of a local girl. The island claim they know nothing about the missing girl. This is a very common horror technique featured in many films today for example; Flight plan made in 2005. (Starring Jodie Foster.) All of the plots twists leave the audience feeling confused and, after the ending scene feeling sorry for Sergeant Howie

“But 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.” (Peter Bradshaw, 2006) As Bradshaw says there is an almost ‘nightmarish feeling to the story, making us the viewers feel as if we are dreaming. “The screenplay which, for sheer imagination and near-terror, has seldom been equalled (Variety Staff, 2001) this film according to critiques, to this day has not been matched in the terror it evokes into the viewers.

Fig.2 The Burning
 The settings and music in the film add to the uncanny aspect of the film, especially when Sergeant Howie is inspecting the remains of the old church behind the school. “Windswept Christopher Lee in drag beautifully filmed by Harry Waxman and accompanied by Paul Giovanni’s risible ’60s-style folk revival soundtrack. Essentially, it’s an insane guilty pleasure, still enjoyable for its delightfully eccentric casting – Britt Ekland’s fine Scottish accent and Hammer star Ingrid Pitt’s dour librarian” (Wally Hammond, 2007)

Fig.3 The Phalic Rituals



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