The Wicker Man

Released 1973




out of 10
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Movie Summary

Robin Hardy

The Wicker Man is a taut, atmospheric horror film which accomplishes what so few horror movies do: it profoundly frightens and disturbs its audience without showing large amounts of blood, gore, and horror. In fact, it frightens partially because its setting seems disarmingly idyllic; viewers are largely unprepared for the horrific events of the climax. The film's protagonist is a middle-aged police detective who is summoned to a beautiful, remote location to search for a missing girl. The locals are simple, rustic folk who live off the land and keep to themselves. As the detective gets to know them and tries to piece together the events surrounding the child's disappearance, it becomes clear that the villager's reasons for contacting the police are more complicated -- and more alarming -- than a search for a missing child.

Metacritic Score

  • 100

    Film Threat

    Not really a horror film at all, but a dark religious thriller with a creepy edge and a song in its heart. The film wittily mixes the starkest possible religious conflict with ench...

  • 88

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    A film that defies categorization, The Wicker Man can be considered to be a horror film, a psychological thriller, a musical, or a melodrama. In reality, since it includes elements...

  • 88

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

    This excellent British film is an eerie, thoroughly engrossing thriller about the disappearance of a youngster and the events that follow when a policeman goes to a small, privatel...

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Appropriately enough for a film about paganism, all the inhabitants of Summerisle seemed to named after either plants or trees.

    • Although set in the early summer, the film was actually shot in the winter, with the result that the various actors and actresses who had to perform naked on location were badly affected by the freezing temperatures.

  • QUOTES (2)

  • NOTES (1)

    • The film was first released in late 1973 as the lower half of a double-bill with Nicolas Roeg's Don't Look Now. It was trimmed to a length of 86 minutes against the wishes of director Robin Hardy, whose preferred cut ran to 102 minutes. In the late 1980s, a version of the film was screened on BBC television which restored some, but not all, the missing footage; it was about 95 minutes. The full 102-minute version was eventually made available on DVD.


More Info About This Movie


Drama, Horror, Suspense


Horror Masters, Cult, Classics, Murder & Mayhem