|The Wicker Man|
|Riffers||Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy|
|Date Released||March 2, 2007|
The Wicker Man is a 2006 American suspense horror thriller film written and directed by Neil LaBute and starring Nicolas Cage. The film primarily is a remake of the 1973 British cult classic The Wicker Man, but also draws from its source material, David Pinner's 1967 novel Ritual. The film's plot concerns a policeman named Edward Malus who is informed by his ex-fiancée Willow Woodward that their daughter Rowan has disappeared and asks for his assistance in her search. When he arrives at the island where Rowan was last seen he begins to suspect something sinister is afoot with the neo-pagans who reside in the island. RiffTrax released their riff in March 2007.
Synopsis and Preview
Policeman Edward Malus (Nicolas Cage) receives news from his ex-fiancée, Willow Woodward (Kate Beahan), that their daughter, Rowan (Erika Shaye Gair), is missing. He gets a pilot (Matthew Walker) to take him to an island off the coast of Washington where a group of neo-pagans live.
The island is led by Sister SummersIsle (Ellen Burstyn), an elderly woman who is worshipped as a goddess. Sister SummersIsle explains to Malus that her ancestors had left England to avoid persecution, only to settle near Salem and find renewed persecution in the Salem witch trials, before arriving on this island. Sister SummersIsle explains that their population is predominately female as they choose the strongest stock—evading Malus's concern about the birth of unwanted males. The economy of the island relies on the production of local honey, which Malus learns has declined recently.
Malus asks the villagers about Rowan, but they give him evasive answers. He later sees two men carrying a large bag that appears to be dripping blood, and then he finds a fresh, unmarked grave in the churchyard. The grave turns out to only contain a burned doll, but Malus finds Rowan's sweater in the churchyard.
At the village school, teacher Sister Rose (Molly Parker) tries to prevent Malus from seeing the class register. When he sees that Rowan's name has been crossed out he becomes enraged at the teacher's and Rowan's classmates' lies. Rose demands Malus talk outside and, after a short discussion of the island people's view of death, Rose explains that Rowan is "letting it snow". Malus asks how Rowan died and Sister Rose tells him first that "She'll burn to death". When Malus catches the tense she used, Sister Rose corrects herself quickly, saying, "She burned to death", and rushes back to her class.
On the day of the ritual, Malus frantically searches the village for Rowan. He attacks Sister Beech (Diane Delano), who has a bear costume for the ritual. Malus incapacitates Sister Honey (Leelee Sobieski) dons the bear suit and joins the parade led by Sister SummersIsle.
The parade ends at the site of the festival. Rowan is tied to a large tree, about to be burned. Malus rescues Rowan and they run away through the woods, but Rowan leads him back to Sister SummersIsle. Sister SummersIsle thanks Rowan for her help, and Malus realizes that the search for Rowan was a trap. Sister Willow is Sister SummersIlse's daughter, and his fate was sealed many years ago, when Sister Willow chose him. The villagers attack Malus and overpower him. Malus is held down and his legs are broken at the knee. A wire mesh helmet is placed over his head and live bees are poured in. Malus shouts "Oh, no, not the bees! Not the bees!" After he passes out, the helmet is removed and he is revived with a shot of epinephrine. Throughout all this, he keeps asking how can he be a good sacrifice if he does not believe in their religion. The women carry him to a giant wicker man and shut him inside. Rowan sets fire to the wicker man and Malus is sacrificed. The crowd chants "The drone must die!", believing that Malus's sacrifice will restore their honey production.
Six months later, Sisters Willow and Honey enter a bar and start talking with two off-duty police officers (James Franco and Jason Ritter). The women invite them to go home with them, presumably in hopes of using them as Malus was. The buzzing of bees and screaming from Edward Malus can be heard as the film fades to black.
Cast and Crew
- Nicolas Cage as Edward Malus
- Ellen Burstyn as Sister SummersIsle
- Kate Beahan as Sister Willow Woodward
- Leelee Sobieski as Sister Honey
- Frances Conroy as Dr. T.H. Moss
- Molly Parker as Sister Rose / Sister Thorn
- Diane Delano as Sister Beech
- Mary Black as Sister Oak
- Christine Willes as Sister Violet
- Erika Shaye Gair as Rowan Woodward
- Michael Wiseman as Officer Pete
- David Purvis as Ivy
- Sophie Hough as Daisy
- Aaron Eckhart as Truck Stop Patron
- George A. Murphy as The Head Villager
- Matthew Walker as Sea Plane Pilot
- James Franco as Bar Guy #1
- Jason Ritter as Bar Guy #2