The Wicker Man (1993)

1h 28m / R / Folk Horror

Deeply religious policeman Neil Howie (Edward Woodward) visits the small, Scottish island of Summerisle to investigate the disappearance of a young girl. But the locals deny even knowing who she is, and their increasingly bizarre, flagrantly sexual behavior nurtures a suspicion in the by-the-book detective that conspiracy is afoot. He meets the island’s leader, Lord Summerisle (the ever-magisterial Christopher Lee), who explains the groundbreaking botanical and agricultural work the island is engaged in. But then he also mentions that Summerisle’s whole population is Pagan and … negotiations break down.

The Wicker Man, a hugely impactful work in the genre of folk horror (see Midsommar, Kwaidan, The Witch), is among the most requested movies that has not yet screened in the “A Nightmare on Franklin Street” series. But 2023 marks its 50th anniversary, and that little coincidence seems like it might bring us good luck. How can a movie be this scary and this sunlit? With one of the most iconic, brilliant, and visually gorgeous final acts in horror history, the only surprise remaining is that nobody has ever remade it! Never. There’s never been a remake.

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