Saturday, 5 May 2012

The Wicker Tree is a mighty slow burner

Excited to watch Robin Hardy’s companion to his classic, The Wicker Man; The Wicker Tree. Anchor Bay’s region 2 DVD release box tells me it is a ‘reimagining’, and it's supposedly a companion piece as opposed to anything else. I’ve seen the trailer and I loved it, so fingers crossed. The cover art is lovely, and I’m hoping for a classy British horror. My tea is made, and the cookies are beside me. Here we go.

Celephane taken off, box opened. DVD artwork is reminiscent of the original’s art direction. Good start.

DVD begins with trailers. Ugh… Did they just mention Nicolas Cage? Surely that must be a bit of a wink wink?

Only a trailer as special feature. This better not be another Survival of the Dead (both in terms of being a crap straight to DVD release, and releasing a bares-bone region 2 but fancy ass region 1 special edition).

Ok, focus on the film. No spoilers, just reactions.

Woo! British Lion!

Honeysuckle Weeks… Makes me feel lucky my parents didn’t try give me a ‘unique’ name.

‘Bringing God’s message to the lost people of Scotland’. Thehehe, silly yanks!

There’s a bald guy with a goatee. Is Lex Luthor the villain in this film? Anyway, ten minutes in, the charm is unwavering.

'Trailer Trash Love' now there's an exciting music video. Or not. But at least they all two step nicely.

You rarely see a film giving born again Christians an easy time. Wicker Tree is no acceptation. Having them be the most American of Americans isn’t helping either. Well, is doesn't help if you were wanting to like them and not want them to inevitably end up burning (?) on the wicker tree..

I can’t tell if everyone is out of sync or overdubbed.

Is it teasing me with being a musical like Wicker Man? I can’t decide if I want it to have musical moments or not…

Wait… Why have they subtitled some people speaking English? I know it’s not crystal clear, but you can understand them…

You might say her dress is a little… fruity?

This is moving pretty slow. I’m sure some mystery will happen soon.

Come on, stop being boring….

Please, do something!

Dammit, I fell asleep! Ok, maybe I was a bit tired starting it, but now I have slept and have full energy. I was probably just missing some of the subtleties. Bring it on, again!

I actually fell asleep when there was both T and A on the screen. What is wrong with me?

Some semblances of action, eh?

Why did she wait so long to find that door?

Wait, did I just miss a scene there? Why is she-? How-? Ok, I’ll run with it, as long as it goes in an epic direction. Oh, well, that was an illusion of epicness, I guess.

Oh… That’s… That’s it? That wasn’t exactly… Well, worthwhile, was it?

Conclusion: This film falls within the range of middle of the road Hammer horror-like fare that has been popping up recently, though on the lower end of the spectrum. I know it’s probably unfair to try hold it up to The Wicker Man, but The Wicker Tree really lacks any of the substance or horror that the original had. Whereas the detective’s search for the truth in the original and the conspiracy by the entire island makes a very claustrophobic tale, this one feels far too vague. Our replacements for the detective are vapid and, really, get what they deserve for not once thinking ‘hey, maybe all these illusions to darker doings should worry me’. I wanted to like this film, and in a way it did bring the 70s style of the original, but it lacks everything that makes a decent horror film. Save your money and catch it on TV. It’s not worthy of anything else really (besides supporting Robin Hardy, which is always a plus).

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