The Wicker Man

The Wicker Man ★★★★½

The Wicker Man is perhaps one of the best atmospheric horror films ever made. It is never scary, but it sure is frightening and filled with dread.

Director Hardy seems intent to achieve one thing and that is to immerse his audience in an unsettling and bizarre atmosphere and from that atmosphere create all the dramatic tension this story needs. He achieves this by strongly juxtaposing protagonist and antagonist and by using music a lot, always brilliantly.

It is paced slowly and deliberately, accompanying the methodical research of Woodward's protagonist beautifully. It takes a long time to get where it needs to go, which is excellent as it is consistently intriguing. When it finally reaches its conclusion, I was (again, this was a rewatch) completely invested in the characters and the plot, even though I knew what was going to happen. This is credit to the excellent script, an excellent Lee and a superb and astonishing Woodward. It is his performance that carries the film, culminating in acting of the highest order in the closing act of the film. Absolutely fantastic.

The Wicker Man definitely shows its age, but its quality in storytelling and the unique atmosphere make it singularly intriguing and one of the true classics in the genre.

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