The Wicker Man

One Gandalf Mantooth seems to think that The Wicker Man is a horror movie.  One Sarcastro Smartypants seems to agree.  I’d dare say that perhaps old age has rotted their brains, but the remake of The Wicker Man seems clearly to be a horror movie.

What the fuck?!

For those of you who don’t know, The Wicker Man is a tragedy.  There’s this cool group of pagans who live on an island and keep to themselves and practice their own funky dirt-worship.  Sadly, the crops fail and in order to survive, they need to appease the gods by making some large sacrifices.

So, they lure the most insufferable prig of a guy to the island.  The symbolism is pretty straightforward.  The good guys represent a healthy attitude towards sex and women and death and magic and all that good stuff.  The bad guys represent patriarchal Christianity.  Granted, it might be a little heavy on the Christian bashing, but they’ve got to make him seem like the biggest prissy jerk in order to justify killing him. 

So, yeah, they kill him, but it’s open-ended as to whether his sacrifice appeases the gods.  That’s the only shitty part about it.

But to call that a horror film? " Insufferable prig gets his comeuppance" is the plot of a horror film?

I just don’t see it.

31 thoughts on “The Wicker Man

  1. Frankly, any movie where the culmination is the burning-alive of a person kinda creeps me out. Wicker Man is horror in my book. Sort of in the same way as "The Lottery" and "The Dark Secret Of Harvest Home"

  2. I disagree. One killing at the end does not a horror flick make.At least as far as the original. I haven’t seen the remake.

  3. In my opinion, any movie with Britt Ekland dancing naked can never be deemed as "horror."But seriously, I’d lump it in with whatever you’d call a good Bradbury or Lovecraft story. Fantasy/horror?Kind of like getting invited to lunch and turned into bbq…Bwaaa-haaa-haaa. (Eerie laughter)

  4. I’m one to call any thing with that sort of braced tension and exploited vulnerability (a la Lovecraft/Poe) "horror", whereas films with mulitiple deaths are–in my mind–better classed as "slasher" pics.

  5. Britt Eklund just makes me think of old episodes of The Tonight Show w/ Johnny, and I have no idea if she was ever a guest, though you’d think that she would have been, like, 3,000 times. Also, I think Johnny was boning that Carole lady.Anyway, does the right person have to get killed in the end for the movie to be horror? The insufferable prig getting his comeuppance is a horror film staple, especially in the survival horror sub genre. I like to call those characters as "the one who will be slapped." Paul Riser (and to a lesser extent, Bill Paxon) in ALIENS, for example.The insufferable prig’s death used to have some thematic significance, now it’s just a crowd pleaser. Like we expect black people to get kicked off The Real World, we have to have someone we don’t like getting killed in a horror movie. I’m kinda surprised THE WICKER MAN is getting a remake, however, it’s very likely that it will be some kind of commentary on fundamentalist religion, like SILENT HILL was.

  6. Any movie with Britt Ekland lip-synching a Celtic ballad=Horror movie.B, time does not permit an in-depth discussion about how wrong your view of the movie is. Not showing the result of the sacrifice is the whole point of the film. The ambiguous ending makes the viewer decide for him/herself if the neo-pagans of the island are just as full of shit as the Christians.

  7. Time does not permit? Too busy working on more Penthouse Forum Letters?Anyway, your point, if we can call it that, is clearly as biased as mine. You know full well that the movie makers intended for the viewer to gather that the sacrifice would NOT work–the creepy ambiguity would then come from "But what if it did?"

  8. Dear Penthouse,I never thought this would happen to me, but at a local bloggers meet-up I saw this tall, good looking blond guy, who like me, is a outspoken, libertarian leaning conservative who is conflicted about sexuality and politics. We hit it off so well! The next thing you know . . .

  9. Dear Penthouse,I never thought something like this would happen to me.Normally, I am man with fairly pedestrian appetites. However, every so often, I like to dress like Hattie McDaniel and cruise the Lower Broad honky tonks. One night, I met Charlie Daniels in a deserted alley. No one was around, so we…(continued on page 167).

  10. 1. Gandalf, you were just waiting for an opportunity to make that point, weren’t you?2. Sarcastro, I believe you started it with your Penthouse forum post this morning.

  11. I have to laugh that my tame mention of sex was taken so viscerally by the faux-pagan libertine, what with her "healthy attitude towards sex and women and death and magic and all that good stuff".For someone so enamored of the funky dirt-worshippers, you sure have a priggish reaction to an oblique reference of the act of sexual intercourse.

  12. It’s probably my being enamored of funky dirt-worshippers that makes me so fond of you; you have the most amazing ability to make mountains out of molehills.Honestly, it’s a far leap from my friendly teasing to your characterization of it as "priggish."Or do you mean what happened next?Would I rather you two not play "I’ll press your perceived homophobic buttons, you press what you perceive are my race buttons as well as what you perceive to be my homophobic buttons" on my blog when you both have blogs of your own? Yes, I would.Does that make me priggish? I think it just makes me conscientious of the feelings of my wider audience, and me, who’d rather not have either of you leave in a huff of hurt feelings, which we both know is exactly where that was going.As evidenced by the fact that you’re all riled up and looking to hurt someone’s feelings–hence the knock on my religion and how I conduct myself in the world.Fine. Oh, woe is me. My feelings are so hurt. I’m never talking to you again. Poor, poor me. You suck so bad.There. Does that make it easier for you?

  13. Hate to break it to you, but this isn’t even a molehill. It’s like an anthill.Looks like the only buttons that were pushed, were yours.

  14. I’m not even sure what you’re getting at. Are you saying that you’re so talented that you can make a mountain out of an anthill? Okay…?

  15. I’ll use small words, so you’ll get it. It isn’t a molehill. It isn’t a mountain. It’s an anthill.It’s only a mountain from your perspective. Feel free to over-think that for the rest of the night.

  16. S. I sincerely have no idea what you’re talking about or why you’re so pissed off about it.

  17. Spend less time putting words in my mouth and pretending you can read my mind. Leave that to the pros. Spend more time in active listening. Or in this case, reading.

  18. Okay, you know what? Fuck it. I’m more than happy to fight with you when I feel like I have a clear grasp on what we’re fighting about, but I’m clueless.I thought we were having a good time and I’m sorry if I… I don’t know what… which caused you to feel however it is that you’re feeling. Because I swear to god, I was just teasing.I feel like I’ve crossed some line, but I’ll be damned if I can see what it is to even know whether I should apologize.

  19. Okay, but if you’re not mad, why are you being so mean?Or maybe hostile’s a better word. But anyway, I get it now. What a burden I am.

  20. not that I want to distract us all from about go between Aunt B & Sarcastro, but I gotta admit to my own idiocy when it comes to movies. It never occured to me that we didn’t know whether or not the sacrifices worked. Of course they did, that’s how the society functioned. Maybe I missed the part about the struggle and drought or whatever was not working in the community at that point. I always saw this as a horror film because this nice group of people found this great way to live and then we find out that it requires human sacrifice. What a horror! What a dilemma! Do we live well and kill a little, or do we strive for equality that comes with equal but less extreme suffering?

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