Setter’s ‘Spectives: The Time Has Come to Speak of ‘The Wicker Man’

Setter Drawing for Blog 082613Halloween’s a-comin’ … and you know what that means.

Quality horror movies should be watched. Including Robin Hardy’s 1973 creepy-fest The Wicker Man.

There’s something really satisfying about this eerie film, about a policeman’s encounters with paganism on a remote Scottish isle. It’s not pure horror – there’s very little blood or gore – yet there’s plenty of atmosphere, as well as a disturbing subtext that may lead viewers to ask questions about belief and the acceptance of others’ religions. The picture features terrific performances, including that of Edward Woodward as the cop aghast at the islanders’ practices and rituals, and offers a fine, wistful musical score by Paul Giovanni. Plus, there’s a great script by Anthony Shaffer that transcends the usually ghoulish genre with insightful dialogue and vivid characterizations.

This is a cult film that spawned the awful remake of the same name with Nicholas Cage, but it’s the original that should be seen. I like to watch it every now and then when it’s on, and Halloween seems like a good time to do so … though it’s by no means the only time that’s appropriate. I’ll be looking for it with particular interest this month, however, owing to the festivities of the season, and, of course, because I haven’t seen it in a while. It definitely merits watching multiple times; if you haven’t seen it yet, I recommend it. Be prepared for some unsettling scenes that may have more impact than the graphically violent sequences that seem so prevalent in horror today, as it’s a well-crafted picture that doesn’t rely on blood to keep itself going.

All the more reason to enjoy it, right? That’s my opinion, anyway.

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