Well, I approached this remake
of the 1973 cult classic
horror, The Wicker Man, with much caution and fear, knowing how modern remakes of classic films usually turn out to be so disappointing.
Now, this remake, starring Nicolas Cage
, wasn’t received very well by critics or the box office... so I’m sure you can understand my concern.
Another case in point is The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974)
- again, another amazing film and certainly one of my favourite films of all time. The 1998 TV movie remake
was dire at best. I haven’t seen the 2009 movie remake
as yet, but I will approach that with the same open-mindedness as I did with The Wicker Man remake.
So, back to the situation in hand...
As a standalone film and without my prior knowledge of 1973 original, I don’t think that the 2006 remake of The Wicker Man would have appealed to me, as it failed to contain the depth and detail that I expect in a film such as this. The original, starring the late great Edward Woodward
is one of my favourite films of all time, and although it was very difficult not to compare the remake to the original, I tried to base my experience on the quality of the story, rather than the quality of the filmmaking.
As it happens, I was actually very impressed with the faithfulness to the original screenplay. The storyline was consistent with the original - apparently over 80% of the character script was verbatim to the original, which is something I wasn’t expecting. But, something I was
expecting was the over-dramatisation of the plot: the car crash at the beginning, the water-related scenes, the bees, etc.
I don’t want to give too much away, so as not to spoil the film for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet... so I’ll summarise by saying this: the acting was good, the storyline was good, the faithfulness to the original was good, the climax was probably dampened by my knowledge of what was going to happen anyway, which is why I was hoping for more from this remake. The short period of violence towards the end of the film was somewhat controversial, and a little excessive in my opinion.
Overall, I enjoyed it... but it could have been so much better. It lacked the element of originality which could have made this film great.