The Wicker Tree 2011 ★★

“Can fate be altered? This is a question every religion has tried to answer, and the answer is almost certainly; no.”
-Old Gentleman (Christopher Lee)

Being a massive fan of the unique 1973 horror classic The Wicker Man, and appreciating the shitty remake for what it was – a shitty remake – I approached original director Robin Hardy’s revisiting/reimagining/sequel, The Wicker Tree, with high expectations, but a certain amount of trepidation too. In this outing, we follow two American missionaries whom accept an invitation from the residents of Tressock in Scotland to attend their festival.

Right, I’ll give a rundown of the positive attributes on offer here. The acting is generally okay, though the two American leads are absolutely awful. Some scenes are (intentionally or not) quite hilarious. That is all.

Well, that was pitifully short. Now onto the films vast array of shortcomings. The storyline is terrible, whilst the intrigue of the fanatical cult is extinguished within the first 30 or so minutes. Whereas the original offered little insight into the machinations of the folk of Summersisle, here everything apparently needs to be dissected before our eyes.
The soundtrack is abysmal, being mismatched in nigh on every scene, again unlike the original, in which the score was used to great effect. In some half-arsed attempt to translate the tale to a modern audience, the script is dumbed down to the sort a chimp could produce – surprising since this is the original author scripting.
Christopher Lee’s cameo is an absolute disgrace. There is no suspense at all. The pagan religion, rituals and beliefs are just not believable, like they were in the first. I could keep going. Were my expectations too high? Am I in fact being far too harsh a critic? Hmmm…no. No I’m not. It’s crap.

VERDICT; The only way Robin Hardy’s wonderful novel and original horror masterpiece could possibly be ruined anymore, is if some actor ran around in a bear costume, punching every single woman he meets. Oh, fucking hell…
2/5 or 4/10

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