The Wicker Tree is being released in the US tomorrow! I am going to go see it. Is anyone else? (And without giving anything away, I will let everyone know how it is)
So, it took a little longer because of the limited screenings in the US, but I did get a chance to see "The Wicker Tree".I thought it was a well done film, but it was no where near as good as "The Wicker Man", which I wasn't expecting it to be.
The film is not a sequel or remake of "The Wicker Man", just as Sir Christpher said. However, it is in the style of the orginal film and it has many homages to it. And in one case (maybe two), a character from "The Wicker Man" appears in the film. The story centers around two Christian singers, Beth and Steve, who go to the village of Tressock, Scotland. They are intent on spreading the word of Christianity. Unlike the people of Summerisle, the villagers of Tressock welcome Beth and Steve in and offer to share beliefs with one another. However, Beth and Steve do not know that their intentions are actually of a sinister nature.The plot of the film is decent, though rather slow. The story started off great...slowed down majorly, and then picked up again about half way through. The script does do a great job of blending of horror and humor, though. It also has the folky elements from "The Wicker Man" and some great musical numbers. The pagan histories are really well researched as well. Everything that happens in their community draws from actual pagan practices of old. I am not going to give anything speciffic away about the plot, however, so I hope what I said is okay enough. I don't want to spoil it for anyone.
There was fine acting all around. While I was sad that Sir Christopher and Joan Collins were no longer the main antagonists, Graham McTavish and Jacqueline Leonard were fine replacements and quite creepy and sinister as Lord and Lady Morrison. The two leads, Brittania Nicole and Henry Garrett, were not as pious as Edward Woodward in "The Wicker Man", but rather blissfully ignoarnt and innocent, which made them rather likable in my opinion. Supporting players Honeysuckle Weeks (the "Willow" character of "Wicker Tree"), Clive Russell (the sinister butler, Beame), Prue Clark (the off-beat Mary) and Leslie Mackie (reprising her character, an adult Daisy, from "The Wicker Man") make up the excellent supporting cast.
We finally get to Sir Christopher. He is indeed in the film, and as he mentioned before, it is a brief appearance. He appears in a flashback, that lasts about a minute, as Lachlan Morrison's pagan mentor. The character is simply credited as "The Old Gentleman". Sir Christopher mentioned that the character is NOT Lord Summerisle or his son, but he certainly seems like he could be, given the context of the flashback. The character is also dressed very simliarly. I wondered while watching the film if Hardy wrote the character as an homage to Lord Summerisle? Either way, while the appearance is brief, it is much appreciated, and Sir Christopher's performance is great...and actually important. I won't give it away, but he does provide a tiny bit of key information to the audience.Anyway, that is my two cents. And I encourage anyone who likes the work of Robin Hardy to rent/buy the DVD when it comes out. While it isn't the masterpiece that "The Wicker Man" was, "The Wicker Tree" does provide some entertainment for fans of the folk/horror genre, as well as fans of Hardy and Sir Christopher.
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