Upon watching this at a Halloween screening my friend remarked that it was more "rapey" than her remembered - I completely disagree! It makes sense seem innocent and fancy-free and very freely and enthusiastically engaged it! The problem - the film posits - is when spiritual feelings and their rituals are cut off from the cycles of nature and institutionalised. But, we suspect, Lord Summerisle will get his. Campy?
Wicker Man is nearly unmatched in shocking finales. While the mystery doesn't obviously have the same surprise in subsequent viewings, one can then better take in the themes. As an analysis on organized religion, it asks us if the more mainstream religions are truly any more different or wrong than paganism, especially if a cultural/societal Christ-figure is created. Even then, are these beliefs fiction or reality?
Eerie take on rural communities and their rites, juxtaposing the idyllic nature of the tight-knit island against the undercurrent of something's-not-right-here experienced by Sargeant Howie. A wonderful reflection on Paganism vs. Christianity in the modern era, too.
"Not being a horror film buff, I avoided this movie for years, thinking that it was simply a silly and compulsive cult-film fixation fest about closet-paganism run amok in the violence-saturated New Age West. A hippie-dippy witchy-woman musical that was anything but trite or predictable (but so obvious was its intention—or so I thought) that it fooled me right up until the last millisecond. Fooled again."
Robin Hardy's The Wicker Man leaves a feeling of dread and hope during its shocking climax. The film runs through sexual discovery with the town's pagan beliefs giving the audience a view of the religion. At times, it feels like Hardy just wants to show you the way of the pagans, but showing the importance of one self's belief. Leaving you with question of your own beliefs and desires.
3-4. I'm somewhat torn about this one for the fact that it's not QUITE scary until its ending. It is generally low-key, with the film mostly being absent of songs, but for the evocative folk songs sung by the townspeople. I'm also not quite sure what to make of the final result of the conflict between the townspeople, which is clearly eerie, but ambiguous about exactly what it's trying to say.