Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Wicker Man Trailer

So I’m watching the trailer for that remake of the old 70’s film The Wicker Man and I’m wondering what the heck is going on here. Nicholas Cage is a cop, but not a “king’s man” and instead of being self-righteous and bossy, he’s broken and despondent. A sister of Silent Hill’s disappearing waif is scattered throughout the trailer. There’s all sorts of bizarre mystical happenings like people crawling with bees and not one hint of naked cuties dancing through bucolic meadows. Beyond the search for a missing girl named Rowan in a bed-and-breakfast coastal community, I’m not sure I’m seeing how the new movie is supposed to be based on the earlier one.

Even more interesting (or, potentially, disturbing, depending on your allegiance to the original) is the intimation that the Summer islanders are not born-again pagans of the ancient, human sacrificing sort, but are instead devil worshippers. I enjoyed the way the original movie brought you into the head-space of ancient, pre-Christian Europeans with their rather liberal views on sex and death, and a strong connection with the activities of animals and the cycles of the natural world. The stark contrast between their laid back embrace of Dionysian nature and the policeman’s strict adherence to a rigid Christianity was central to the theme and style of the original. Somehow, I can’t imagine Cage’s character being anything like Howie from that film.

In the trailer, quick flashes to old woodcuts of cavorting demons and such imply something more akin to 17th century witchcraft is at work in this story. This is only heightened by seeing what I must assume is Lady Summerville in a large, canopied bed of ivory colored sheets, while her voiceover declares in triumphant tones, “The wicker man is coming!” Well! Certainly brings to mind stories of cackling witches having relations, as it were, with Old Scratch, doesn’t it? I wonder if we’ll get to see Mr. Cage go mano-a-mano with a flaming CGI demon that wasn't quite good enough to play the balrog. Yes, and by smiting said demon, Nick Cage will get to save the spooky, disappearing little girl as well, I’ll bet. Hugs and smiles all around!

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