The Wicked Tree received mixed reviews from diverse critiques and magazines; some of them said the film was good, some regular, and some spoke harsh words. During the release of the film at the Fantasia Festival, the movie received multiple reviews; the review provided by Fangoria was slightly good, stating that
“even as a black comedy, Wicker Tree can’t match the impact of its predecessor. Still, for those fans of Wicker Man who can open their minds to viewing, as Monty Python used to put it, something completely different, the new movie can be appreciated as an entertaining variation on its themes.”
However, this film obtained its first negative review from the magazine Starburst, pointing that:
“Sometimes cult films really should be left alone.
Prepare to have your hopes dashed however as The Wicker Tree is awful.”
During the first days of 2012, the film had its cinematic release in the United States. IndieWire posted their review after the movie’s release, with the title
“The Wicker Tree Is Almost Weird Enough To Be Enjoyable…Almost”.
Four months after, the director Robert Hardy was interviewed regarding the feedback towards his movie, where they discussed the various approaches taken by reviewers and magazines. Robert states that “The New York Times’ reviewer said it wasn’t as gritty as the original Wicker Man, but it’s a thousand times better than the remake. I was quite happy with that.” They proceeded to discuss which film was better, where Robert points out his clear preference toward the newest film “The Wicker Tree” over his initial film “The Wicker Man”.
Random ‘Mortals’ Second Opinion on the The Wicker Tree Movie
According to the general audience, the film gives a bad reputation to the initial success The Wicker Man during the origins of horror movies. Despite not being such a commercial success, the initial film received amazing feedback overall- and in comparison to The Wicker Tree. The modern remake of The Wicker Man back in 2006 didn’t receive much of a positive feedback either despite having a better cast, featuring Nicolas Cage.
The Wicker Man 2006 Trailer
In his third movie, Hardy goes for a wicked approach once again. This time, he mildly connects the two movies and gives a whole different story to the new one. The synopsis itself didn’t quite catch the attention of the public, the story of a new-born evangelic couple creating a musical duo that spreads the word of Christianism being sent off to Scotland wasn’t much of a deal breaker. The film also received some critiques regarding a sub-plot on Beth’s background, where she was a pop singer known worldwide for her music that suddenly turns into a Christian pop singer who preaches heathen lands and wears a ring of purity.
So, after praising Sod in a local presentation, a landowner of a near-by town approaches them to invite them to perform in his town. Those of us who watched The Wicker Man has a pretty solid idea of where this is going, regardless of how Christian and pure the couple has become. There is a lot of controversy regarding the couple missing obvious signals such as acts of paganism and village people openly praising Celt cults and the ancient soddess Sulis. Apparently, Steve and Beth weren’t able to notice the clear heathen arrangements taking place for the upcoming local festival.
Some audiences found it really hard to enjoy the movie, while some were mildly entertained by the ridiculous side stories every once in a while during the movie. These side stories don’t really add anything of use to the movie (except awkwardness, that is). There’s a scene explaining how a local nuclear energy plant (ran by nothing less than the town mayor) has unfertilized every resident of the town. The village is almost depleted of children because of this, and the residents believe it can somehow be undone with some heathen ritual, which of course, makes complete sense.
The movie also featured the appearances of some interesting characters, such as detective Orlando, who is sent to investigate mysterious pagan occurrences in town (and by mysterious I mean totally obvious), somehow resembling the original film The Wicker Man. Then we have Lolly, the character that is naked throughout the whole movie, and probably the only reason why you watched it. She forms part of the pagan group of the town and had sex with Orlando and the new-born, purified protagonist Steve (yeah, the one with the purity ring on).
The Wicker Man had a pretty original story (had you ever seen a heathen-praising town and a Christian Pop world-star together in a terror movie?) but the cast didn’t really help. The actors selected didn’t fit the characters individually; Sir Morrison lacked enthusiasm and clarity in his speeches, and our protagonists in this movie don’t quite fulfill their role. Rumors are that Christopher Lee would appear as Sir Morrison in The Wicker Tree until he suffered a minor injury and didn’t manage to make his appearance on screen (luckily for his acting career).