The Wicker Man

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Two films. There are tropes for both on this page. Robin Hardy's original film was made in 1973 with Christopher Lee as Lord Summerisle. It's a sort of suspense/horror/folk musical. Neil LaBute remade it in 2006 with Nicolas Cage.

To sum it up it in the nicest terms possible: The original is generally considered to be an influential Cult Classic within the horror film genre, and the remake is mostly viewed as inferior, and is probably better remembered for its moments of unintentional funniness than for being scary.

The Original Film Provides Examples Of:
  • Affably Evil: Lord Summerisle. Possibly subverted. It's never clear whether Summerisle believes the religion of his island, or is just playing along to keep his subjects in line. If the former, he may genuinely believe the sacrifice is necessary for the harvest.
    • And he tries to sooth his intended sacrifice:

Howie: I am a Christian. And as a Christian I hope for resurrection. And even as if you kill me now, It is I who will live again, not your damned apples! [The Villagers prepare him for sacrifice] No matter what you do, you can't change the fact that I believe in Life Eternal, as promised to us by our Lord Jesus Christ. I BELIEVE IN THE LIFE ETERNAL AS PROMISED BY OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST!
Lord Summerisle: That is good. For believing what you do, we confirm on you a rare gift these days: A martyr's death. You will not only have life eternal, but you will sit with the saints among the elect. Come, it is time to keep your appointment with The Wicker Man.


Howie: But they are... are naked!
Summerisle: Naturally, it's far too dangerous to jump through fire with your clothes on!

  • Corrupt Church: "Since it is no longer used for Christian worship, whether it is still a church is debatable."
  • Corrupt Hick
  • Creepy Child: All of them, really, but Daisy Pringle in particular.
  • Cult
  • Dark Reprise: Howie's reprise of the 23rd Psalm as counterpoint to the townsfolk's "Sumer is Icumen In" at the film's climax.
  • Daylight Horror: Many of the events in the movie take place during the day, with the climax happening at dusk. It lets the audience admire the Scenery Porn and also makes the bizarre behavior of the townspeople even more unsettling.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Lord Summerisle quite often.
  • Death by Sex: Inverted, the pious virgin is killed, and losing his virginity just might have made him an unacceptable sacrifice.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Lion's share of the movie's creepiness comprises of this.
  • Doomed Moral Victor
  • Double Entendre: The song Willow sings to seduce Howie is almost nothing but these.

How a maid can milk a bull!.... And every stroke a bucket full."


Christopher Lee: This attitude that "people wouldn't understand" is far too prevalent in cinema today. People should be able to use what's left of their minds when they watch something.

  • Villainous Crossdresser: Lord Summerisle dresses as a woman for the May Day parade.
  • Virgin Sacrifice
  • Xanatos Roulette: Summerisle's plan to trick Sgt. Howie into staying until May Day without disrupting preparations, having him knock out the innkeeper, putting on his costume, following the parade to the designated spot and fleeing through the cave depends on Howie acting just as planned a little bit too much.
    • Well, alternately, they could have just as well abducted him from his room. Not that spectacular, but... yeah, it would work. Howie might just have made it all the much easier for them by coming to them instead.
      • Except they couldn't. One of the specifications for the sacrifice is that Howie come of his own free will.
        • Perhaps it means Howie came to the island of his own free will.
  • X Meets Y: The White People meets The Lottery
  • You're Insane! / Only Sane Man: "You're all raving mad!"

The Remake Provides Examples Of:

Christopher Lee: I was very happy to be in it; it was a remarkable film. Occult film, with followings all over the world. They're talking about re-making it in America with Nicolas Cage. (the audience chuckles) No, that's what Universal says. They're going to re-make the movie.