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The Wicker Tree (2011)

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1:54 | Trailer
Charmed by the residents of Tressock, Scotland, two young missionaries accept the invitation to participate in a local festival, fully unaware of the consequences of their decision.

Director:

Robin Hardy

Writers:

Robin Hardy, Robin Hardy (novel)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Brittania Nicol ... Beth Boothby
Henry Garrett ... Steve Thomson
James Mapes ... Reverend Moriarty
Lesley Mackie Lesley Mackie ... Daisy
Clive Russell ... Beame
Graham McTavish ... Sir Lachlan Morrison
Jacqueline Leonard Jacqueline Leonard ... Lady Delia Morrison
Bill Murdoch ... Rev. McLeod
Kirstin Murray Kirstin Murray ... Celebrity Interviewer
Christopher Fosh ... Trailer Trash Video Dancer
Graham Wadsworth Graham Wadsworth ... Trailer Trash Video Dancer
Honeysuckle Weeks ... Lolly
David Plimmer David Plimmer ... Jack
Iain Stuart Robertson Iain Stuart Robertson ... Peter McNeil
Ailidh Mackay Ailidh Mackay ... Anthea
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Storyline

Young Christians Beth and Steve, a gospel singer and her cowboy boyfriend, leave Texas to preach door-to-door in Scotland . When, after initial abuse, they are welcomed with joy and elation to Tressock, the border fiefdom of Sir Lachlan Morrison, they assume their hosts simply want to hear more about Jesus. How innocent and wrong they are. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Accept our sacrifice

Genres:

Drama | Horror

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality, nudity and violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 January 2012 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cowboys for Christ See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,750,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dame Joan Collins was originally set to play Lady Delia Morrison when Sir Christopher Lee was to play Sir Lachlan Morrison. However, when Lee injured himself and was replaced by the much younger Graham McTavish, Collins was replaced with a younger actress, Jacqueline Leonard. See more »

Goofs

When Steve is laying in bed his shorts are white with red and blue plaid pattern. When we see him through the eyes of the raven, they are dark blue overall, and after the raven leaves they are back to the red, blue and white plaid shorts. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Danny: Lass? Stay Still!
[last lines]
Mary Hellier: No! No!
[Is surronded by Danny, Beame and the other townspeople]
Mary Hellier: God why? Danny? Steve!
See more »

Connections

References The Simpsons (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

The Anthem at the Tree
Music by Keith Easdale
Lyrics from the poems of Osin
Performed by John Paul McGilvary & Members of the Beltane Fire Society
Produced by John Scott
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Wicker basket case
22 June 2014 | by tomsviewSee all my reviews

Did we really think writer/director Robin Hardy could better "The Wicker Man", that masterpiece of horror, which along with William Friedkin's "The Exorcist" defined the genre in the 1970's? It was a tall order, but he did come up with one surprise - he more or less repeated himself.

A couple of born-again Christians, 'Cowboys for Christ', Beth Boothby (Brittania Nicol) and Steve Thompson (Henry Garrett), cross the Atlantic on a mission to spread the Lord's word to the spiritually challenged flock in Scotland. After meeting a local laird, Sir Lachlan Morrison (Graham McTavish), they are directed to Tressock, a community that has an infertility problem caused by a leak from a nuclear power plant.

The innocent couple become central to the town's May Day festivities, involving human sacrifice to get the community's seed germinating again. All conspire against them except for Lolly (Honeysuckle Weeks), the head groom on Sir Lachlan's estate.

We know how it will end because there was no mercy for Edward Woodward in the first version so we don't expect any for Beth and Steve in this one.

The problem with knowing the basic premise is that the only tension comes in seeing how the ritual will be carried out. However, for some reason, Hardy holds back - we see nothing that compares to the anguish of Edward Woodward locked in his blazing wicker prison in the 1973 film. The Wicker Tree itself is an artistic looking number, but it doesn't project the menace of the giant wicker cage of the original.

Where the "The Wicker Tree" breaks from "The Wicker Man" is in the attempts at black humour; the naive Beth and Steve are treated as somewhat comic characters, as is Beame, Sir Lachlan's head man, who is involved in a number of jocular bits of business such as being stabbed up the kilt with a broken glass; it's hard to know quite how to take this movie as it changes mood at odd times.

The film doubles up on a couple of elements from the original, namely the number of sacrifices and the amount of nudity. Honeysuckle Weeks sheds her "Foyle's War" khakis and everything else for a couple of airy romps, including a brave effort in a chilly Scottish stream.

Although it's nice to see Christopher Lee back for a little homage, the biggest problem with "The Wicker Tree" is that it pays just too much homage to the original movie. The most important sacrifice of all would have entailed letting go of the old plot and heading off in a new direction.

Instead of a lop-sided remake, maybe a follow-up to the original would have been a better option - by 2011, the number of disappearances on Summerisle would have reached epic proportions with the supply of wicker also running dangerously low. At least that approach may have provided a few surprises.


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