Is it Horror? The Wicker Man (1973)

Is it horror

The Wicker Man is a classic “mystery, horror” film from 1973, starring Christopher Lee and directed by Robin Hardy.  It really stars Edward Woodard, the story follows him, rather than Christopher Lee’s character.  The story for the Wicker Man was inspired by David Pinner’s 1967 novel Ritual.  The film centers on a Police Sergeant Neil Howie who travels to the isolated island of Summerisle.  He is looking for a young girl who has gone missing.  Howie is a christian and is firm with his beliefs, is disturbed to find that the people of Summerisle do not follow Christianity and now practice a bizarre form of Celtic paganism.

By the description, it sounds totally like we could be in for a wild ride.  That is actually true, the movie is a wild ride.  The aspect that stands out the most to me, the mystery of the movie.  The town and the people on the island are so strange and more than anything, they seem to be “super hippees”, free love and such.  I remember at time looking over to my wife and asking, “what in the fuck?”  There is a lot of music and singing that goes along with this mystery.

Ok, so there are some strange things going on in this one, I want to go ahead and mention Britt Eklund and her naked sex dance and song in the room next to Howie.  I was puzzled by this, not why it was happening, I understand what was going on.  The longer I watched this, the more bizarre the movie became.  By the end, the pay off, it wasn’t there for me and honestly based on everything going on, I expected what happened.  That did not bother me, it is an older movie and if you Google Search the Wicker Man, pictures of Christopher Lee, like the picture above pop up and the Ingrid Pitt.  It is strange Ingrid Pitt, was literally in the movie for a moment.

This is where I am going to lose some of you…The Wicker Man was not a good movie, it felt very incoherent at times.  Not too hard to follow, just seemed allover the place.  I think that may help, as Summerisle is a strange place the fact it is incoherent adds to the mystery.  The mystery is solved by the viewer about half way through the movie.

But this is not a review of the Wicker Man.  You are reading this and wondering if it is, in fact a horror movie.  Everything points to horror, Christopher Lee alone makes you think horror.  He was Dracula so many times and only one year before the Wicker Man.  I say, give the Wicker Man a chance and you decide if its horror.  Most hardcore horror fans say yes…I say…

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Yep, the Wicker Man may be labeled as a horror film, but it is not horror.  There is no dread in the movie, Summerisle, while a crazy place for outsiders, the people are not… I wouldn’t be worried about any of them.  The ending was not even very good.  I tried to take myself back to the 1970s when it was released and I could see people being scared.  But there are Sherlock Holmes stories that bring fear and dread to me more than the Wicker Man.  In this day and age when the classic movie Poltergeist doesn’t scare these kids, I think the Wicker Man is laughable for them.

This more than likely will piss off a lot of people and maybe, just maybe if I saw the movie back when I was younger and hadn’t seen so many horror movies…maybe I would think differently.  I am sorry to anyone who loves this, but I don’t see it and I want to hear why you think the Wicker Man is a horror movie.

IMDB.com rates the Wicker Man at 7.3

I hate to say this, I love Christopher Lee, but the Wicker Man, I rate it at a 2.8.  Remember, this is just one person’s opinion, not the entire Syndicate.

About Ray Marek III 408 Articles
I have been watching horror films since I was 6 years old. The story, one Saturday night, my mom and I were watching movies and she fell asleep on the couch. We had the channel set on HBO and the movie we were watching ended and the next one, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge. This was some time in 1986. I watched then entire film, I was sitting on the edge of my seat. When my mom woke, she asked me what just ended and I told her, “Freddy”. That was all I talked about for weeks and finally she broke down and rented more horror films for me. She rented, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre part 2, Re-Animator, Friday the 13th VI: Jason Lives and Halloween II. I watched all and fell in love with horror films forever. 5 Horror Films to Watch Inferno (1980) A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) The Beyond (1981) Friday the 13th VI: Jason Lives (1986) Horror of Dracula (1958)