99-Word Movie Reviews: The Wicker Man

NOT THE NICOLAS CAGE VERSION!

A pinnacle of horror filmmaking, this 1973 movie follows a Puritanical English detective investigating a girl’s disappearance on an isolated Scottish isle whose population practice a bizarre ancient religion. Pervasive dread, eeriness and uncertainty make for subtle horror through the first act. The islanders’ practices become increasingly unnerving with each minute. Sergeant Howie is an impressively realized character, who shares our confusion along with his own righteous disgust. Unlike some older horror films, this has held up strongly over the decades, save a couple unintentionally amusing hard zoom closeups and dramatic music cues. And the ending is absolutely devastating.

“99-Word Movie Reviews” is a new column by Archer Parquette. Check back each week for a  new review. 

How to See It

AVAILABLE AT: Netflix and iTunes Rental ($3.99)

Details 

The Wicker Man (1973)

DIRECTOR: Robin Hardy

WRITER: Anthony Shaffer

STARRING: Edward Woodward, Christopher Lee

Trailer

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Archer is the managing editor at Milwaukee Magazine. Some say he is a great warrior and prophet, a man of boundless sight in a world gone blind, a denizen of truth and goodness, a beacon of hope shining bright in this dark world. Others say he smells like cheese.