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Paparelli's Movie Reviews
Well, it's just, like... my opinion, man

The Wicker Man

Saturday, September 02, 2006

year: 2006
directed by: Neil LaBute
written by: Neil LaBute, Anthony Shaffer
notable cast: Nicolas Cage, Ellen Burstyn, Kate Beahan
Paparelli's rating: (0 = worst, **** = best)

Disappointingly boring and predictable. The genre elements and sub-genre elements are well-known to the movie-going public, so it would suit the makers to build upon that, and to put the expectations of the audience to good use (by setting up surprising and unexpected twists). But that never happens. It's exactly as you'll guess it might be.

When compared to a similar movie that also handles well-known genre and sub-genre elements, 'The Skeleton Key', it appears that The Wicker Man fails to build tension. The whole story is told in a matter-of-fact kind of way and events simply follow eachother in a logical, almost mechanical sequence.

This lack of tension makes some scaring tactics seem silly. Several scenes reminded me of the British comedy series 'The League of Gentlemen' that caricaturizes exactly this kind of movie in one of its recurring sketches.

Where 'The Skeleton Key' not only manages to come up with an intriguing explanation, but also succeeds in creeping me out and toying with my expectations, the plot of The Wicker Man is so easily guessed that most movie-goers probably will be ahead of the story most of the time and developments in the story never come as a surprise. Sometimes it's even boring waiting for the obvious to happen.

The music doesn't help either. It's seriously flawed in the way it sets the mood for some scenes. It simply suggests the wrong kind of athmosphere according to the development of the story.

Not that bad for a night out, but nothing special either. If you have a choice of seeing The Skeleton Key, you'd better pick that.


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