First there was man. Welcome to tree. That’s right horror fans, we’re checking out the long-awaited sequel to the popular 1973 original film called "The Wicker Tree" out now on Blu-ray from Anchor Bay Entertainment. The review roots grow below!
Title: "The Wicker Tree"
Cast: Graham McTavish, Brittania Nicol, Henry Garrett
Director: Robin Hardy
Runtime: 96 minutes
Release Company: Anchor Bay Entertainment
The Flick: Unlike the original 1973 "The Wicker Man" (I'm not counting that Nic Cage laugh fest!), the main problem with "The Wicker Tree" is that there’s a decent build up to nothing. Meaning unlike Man that had one of the most memorable film finales ever, Tree has an ending that almost makes you regret the time put into watching the slow and simmering stuff before. Not to mention that Man had talents the likes of Edward “The Equalizer” Woodward and the mesmerizing Christopher Lee (who shows up in this one for a cameo – for practically one whole second!), whereas Tree has lame cookie cutter roles (Christians trying to convert the townsfolk!) inhabited by uninspired actors that give no zeal to the piece. Robin Hardy, who also directed the first film, does still have a knack for a creepy build up, but his endings have not gotten better with age.
Best Feature: The 'Making of The Wicker Tree' is somewhat interesting in its parallels to the first film and does provide some insight via Hardy.
Best Hidden Gem: Christopher Lee cameo is still cool just to see the old guy – even if the role makes no sense to the movie, provides nothing that moves the story forward and looks like Lee is in terrible pain throughout.
Worth the Moola: Can one recommend a movie with a decent build up to a lackluster climax – sorry.