The Wicker Man review

After last year’s Nic Cage/Neil LaBute remake travesty, here’s a welcome opportunity to see the director’s cut of Robin Hardy’s 1973 cult classic on the big screen. It stands up better than you might expect. The original script by Anthony Shaffer (Equus) is a teasing interrogation of religious faith, born perhaps of hippy horror and the new promiscuous society. Edward Woodward’s the celibate Western Highlands policeman – and devout Christian – called to investigate an alleged child disappearance on remote Summerisle. The islanders claim she never existed, but the sergeant digs deeper. What he finds horrifies him: a loose-loined heathen community conspiring to render a human sacrifice. It’s a heady brew, but Hardy keep the mystery simmering, while his staging of several merrie pagan songs – and of course the chilling climax – is truly memorable.

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