[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/wickerman.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:[[Music/IronMaiden Your time will come, your time will come...]]]]

Two films; there are tropes for both on this page. Robin Hardy's original film was made in 1973 with ChristopherLee as Lord Summerisle. It's a sort of suspense/horror/folk musical. Creator/NeilLaBute remade it in 2006 with NicolasCage.

To sum it up it in the nicest terms possible: The original is generally considered to be an influential CultClassic within the horror film genre, and the remake is mostly viewed as inferior, and is probably better remembered for its moments of [[{{Narm}} unintentional]] [[NicolasCage funniness]] than for being scary.

In 2011 Robin Hardy released ''The Wicker Tree'', a companion piece of sorts based on his novel 'Cowboys for Christ', with Lee appearing in a cameo (but not, as some have reported, as Lord Summerisle).

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!!The original film provides examples of:

* AffablyEvil: Lord Summerisle. Possibly subverted. It's never clear whether Summerisle believes the religion of his island, or is just playing along to keep his subjects in line. If the former, he may genuinely believe the sacrifice is necessary for the harvest.
** And he tries to soothe his intended sacrifice:
-->'''Howie:''' I am a Christian. And as a Christian I hope for resurrection. And even as if you kill me now, It is I who will live again, not your damned apples! [The Villagers prepare him for sacrifice] No matter what you do, you can't change the fact that I believe in Life Eternal, as promised to us by our Lord Jesus Christ. '''[[RealMenLoveJesus I BELIEVE IN THE LIFE ETERNAL AS PROMISED BY OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST!]]'''
-->'''Lord Summerisle:''' That is good. For believing what you do, we confer on you a rare gift these days: A martyr's death. You will not only have life eternal, but you will sit with the saints among the elect. Come, it is time to keep your appointment with [[TitleDrop the Wicker Man]].
* AManIsNotAVirgin: Averted with Howie. It actually becomes a plot point.
* AntiHero: A very interesting take on it, too.
* AristocratsAreEvil: Lord Summerisle again.
* ArousedByTheirVoice: Howie can only hear Willow's song, not see her, but he's still tempted. [[EnthrallingSiren Magic may be involved.]]
* TheBadGuyWins: Though thanks to Howie's final speech, only till the apple harvest fails again. If you look at it that way, (see TakingYouWithMe further down) you could arguably say that Howie was the real winner.
** It could also be argued that from Howie's perspective he won, since Christianity teaches that a principled defeat counts as a victory.
* BatmanGambit
* BawdySong: The customers at a pub engage in a lusty rendition of "The Landlord's Daughter", to the annoyance of the straightlaced protagonist and the amusement of Willow, the ReallyGetsAround daughter of the pub's landlord. As ChristopherLee said in the DVDCommentary, it's a good song for when you've got a pint in your hand.
** GeniusBonus: "The Landlord's Daughter" and "Willow's Song" are both based on actual ditties - the latter a compilation of two - that are OlderThanDirt. In fact, the latter is considered one of the oldest recorded songs ''in the world''.
** "Gently Johnny" may just be the sweetest, gentlest, most romantic bawdy song you've ever heard.
* BetterByADifferentName: Because of ChristopherLee, Ingrid Pitt and [[{{Fanservice}} Willow]] some like to name this "The greatest HammerHorror that wasn't made by the Hammer Studio.
* BookEnds: The Final Cut begins and ends with an religious cermony.
* ButIWouldReallyEnjoyIt: Howie doesn't believe in sex before marriage, and is therefore still a virgin in middle age. Willow does her best to seduce him [[spoiler: and fails, though Howie is literally trembling with desire.]]
* CampStraight: The innkeeper
* CelibateHero
* CreepyChild: All of them, really, but Daisy Pringle in particular.
* ComicallyMissingThePoint: Lord Summerisle.
--> '''Howie:''' But they are... [[FelonyMisdemeanor are naked]]!
--> '''Summerisle:''' Naturally, it's far too dangerous to jump through fire with your clothes on!
* CorruptHick
* CorruptChurch: "Since it is no longer used for Christian worship, whether it is still a church is debatable."
* CrapsaccharineWorld: Summerisle
* CueCard: In the climax, Edward Woodward used one for his lines. Looking at [[http://i2.wp.com/www.retronaut.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Wicker-Man-Cue-Cards.jpg?resize=500%2C739 this photo]], it seems Christopher Lee used it, as well. Woodward and the prop department opted to use the card, because the burning of the wicker man had to be shot when the weather was good, and he had yet to really learn Howie's lines for the scene. According to director Robin Hardy, the climax was shot on a day late in the year when the weather was getting progressively worse day-by-day.
* {{Cult}}
* DaylightHorror: Many of the events in the movie take place during the day, with the climax happening at dusk. It lets the audience admire the SceneryPorn and also makes the bizarre behavior of the townspeople even more unsettling.
* DarkReprise: [[spoiler:Howie's reprise of the 23rd Psalm]] as counterpoint to the townsfolk's "Sumer is Icumen In" at the film's climax.
* DeadpanSnarker: Lord Summerisle quite often.
* DeathBySex: Inverted, [[spoiler: the pious virgin is killed, and losing his virginity just might have made him an unacceptable sacrifice.]]
* DeliberateValuesDissonance: Lion's share of the movie's creepiness comprises of this.
* DoomedMoralVictor
* DoubleEntendre: The song Willow sings to seduce Howie is almost nothing but these.
-->''How a maid can milk a bull!.... And every stroke a bucket full."[[note]]Taken from the 11th century drinking song "Martin Said To His Man".[[/note]]
** Likewise "The Landlord's Daughter" song.
-->And, when her name is mentioned...The parts of every gentleman...[[SomethingElseAlsoRises Do stand up at attention]]
* DownerEnding
* TheDragon: Oak
* DressingAsTheEnemy [[spoiler:Gets him killed.]]
* DyingCurse
* DyingMomentOfAwesome: The movie has Howie [[FaceDeathWithDignity die with dignity.]] The novelization by [[WordOfGod the director and writer of the original film]] actually has him die being a {{Badass}}: actually freeing a flock of birds from the Wicker Man's arm ''as it's burning'', because he feels that, as long as he saves ''some'' sort of life, his police mission will have not been completely in vain.
* EnfantTerrible: [[spoiler:Rowan]]
* EnthrallingSiren: A case of MaybeMagicMaybeMundane when Willow dances naked in the room next to Howie's, slapping the wall between them and singing to him. The staunchly Christian Howie is literally trembling with desire, but doesn't succumb.
* EvilSoundsDeep: ChristopherLee is in this movie.
* FaceDeathWithDignity: Rather [[LargeHam hammily]] averted at first by Howie ("OH MY GOOOOOD!") but once the fire is actually lit, played straight, as Howie accepts his death and prays for his soul to go to Heaven.
* FacelessGoons: "Take those masks off!"
* {{Fanservice}}: Would you like to watch Britt Ekland [[http://vimeo.com/30010266 dance naked?]]
** Don't get too excited, since the [[spoiler: butt]] shots are a body double. (To Ekland's disgust, people are forever asking her to autograph stills of that one particular scene. She has to patiently explain to them that it isn't actually her.)
* AFeteWorseThanDeath
* FilkSong: Music/BruceDickinson[='=]s "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGRi3RQ-_gU Wicker Man]]" ([[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZkAQoa1plM&ob=av2e the one]] he co-wrote after rejoining Music/IronMaiden - quoted in the caption above - [[WordSaladLyrics less so]])
* ForegoneConclusion: It's right there in the title.
* ForTheEvulz: The only possible explanation for Daisy's beetle-abuse.
** That, or it's a symbol of Howie's fate: [[spoiler: the closer he gets to the answer of where Rowan is (i.e. the more he goes around the nail), the more entangled he is and the more difficult it is for him to escape]]
* GambitRoulette: Summerisle's plan to [[spoiler: trick Sgt. Howie into coming to the island of his own free will and stay until May Day so they can sacrifice him.]] There's a lot of chance in this plan and a lot can go wrong.
* GenreBusting: Is it a crime movie? A horror movie? A mystery? A [[MaybeMagicMaybeMundane fantasy]] movie? You can even argue that it's a Musical, if you're so inclined... or an excuse (albeit a good one) for Fanservice.
* GreyAndGrayMorality: Howie, whatever you think of his blustery self-righteousness, is genuinely trying to be a good police officer and save a child's life. The villagers [[spoiler: with the possible exception of Lord Summerisle]], however creeped out you may be by their practices, genuinely believe that they are saving their harvest.
* HandOfGlory
* TheHeroDies: [[spoiler:Howie himself at the end.]]
* HolierThanThou / RealMenLoveJesus: Sgt. Howie's behaviour is, depending on interpretation, either that of a sanctimonious prude, that of a deeply honourable and upright officer motivated by his faith or both.
* HorrorDoesntSettleForSimpleTuesday: May Day
** Although, according to the calendar in the chemist's, it ''is'' a Tuesday.
*** Just not a ''simple'' Tuesday.
* HotLibrarian: Played by Hammer Horror regular Ingrid Pitt.
* HumanSacrifice: The islanders sincerely believe that [[HumanResources Howie's death will revitalise their crops]].
* IntercourseWithYou: ''[[{{Fanservice}} Heyyy, hoooo, who is there?...]]''
* IWantSong: Most of the songs, except the hero's song, which is the 23rd Psalm, starting "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want."
* {{Jerkass}}: Lord Summerisle, the island inhabitants, and some of Howie's co-workers from the original version's beginning. Despite his [[AffablyEvil affability]], Lord Summerisle probably reigns supreme in this category; as the co-workers are minor, the inhabitants genuinely devout, and Howie at least genuinely wants to do the right thing. Summerisle has no real excuse.
* LargeHam: ChristopherLee.
* LoopingLines: There's a persistent myth that Creator/BrittEkland was dubbed over because she couldn't do a Scots accent. It ''is'', however, true that someone else did her singing for her.
* AManIsNotAVirgin: Subverted (in the original, but not the remake), using the audiences' expectations against them.
* MaybeMagicMaybeMundane
* [[MyCarHatesMe My Hydroplane Hates Me]]
* TheNameSake: The titular effigy doesn't show up until the very end.
* NoExceptYes: [[spoiler:"Now you can wrap it up any way you like, but you are about to commit ''murder.''"]]
* NothingIsScarier: There are no real "scares" to speak of, no monsters...the town and its inhabitants are just really, really creepy.
* NudeNatureDance: Towards the middle, Howie sees a group of young pregnant women dancing around a fire, nude. See ComicallyMissingThePoint for the reaction.
* OhCrap: This is one of the few films where the main character can shout "Oh Jesus Christ!" and have it come across as a true, in-character OhCrap moment.
** Christopher Lee has a nicely subtle one when [[spoiler:Howie points out that if his own death doesn't help the next harvest, the villagers will likely conclude that only Summerisle himself will be a large enough sacrifice to satisfy their gods.]]
* PathOfInspiration: {{Lampshaded}}. Lord Summerisle openly admits that his ancestor was a "Victorian freethinker" and propagated Celtic paganism among the villagers only to ensure social stability. It is strongly implied he also sees the local religion as a tool of control.
* PeekABooCorpse: But it's in a coffin.
** Subverted in a prank a girl plays on Howie while he searches for Rowan.
* PunctuatedForEmphasis: "THEY. WILL. NOT. FAIL."
* TheRadioDiesFirst
* ReligiousHorror
* RiddleForTheAges: Why ''was'' Willow trying to seduce Howie? As a SecretTestOfCharacter to prove he was a perfect sacrifice? If Howie caved, it would ruin the sacrifice, so was she warning him? Was she genuinely attracted to him despite being the village bicycle? None of these questions are answered.
* SceneryPorn
* UsefulNotes/{{Scotland}}
* TheScream: "[[BigNo NO!]] For the love of God, THINK WHAT YOU'RE DOING!"
* SexIsEvil: Well, on Summerisle it is.
* ShownTheirWork
* SmugSnake: [=MacGregor=] the innkeeper. What a loathsome creature he is.
* SoundtrackDissonance
* SpiritualSuccessor: ''The Wicker Tree''
* StoutStrength: Oak. [[spoiler:Howie may look more fit, but he doesn't have a chance. The rest of the crowd can just stand around and watch.]] Hinted at early on in the inn, when we see Oak carrying a grown man around on his shoulders for fun.
* TakingYouWithMe: [[spoiler:Howie points out that if ''his'' sacrifice doesn't bring back the crops, only Lord Summerisle will be a suitable sacrifice next year. Summerisle's reaction shows that it briefly hits home before he declares that the crops won't fail; even if he doesn't believe in the island's gods, the rest of the island certainly does!]]
* TapOnTheHead: [[spoiler: When Howie knocks out [=MacGregor=] to [[MuggedForDisguise steal his Punch costume.]]]]
* TownWithADarkSecret
* ThemeNaming: All the townsfolk are named for trees or plants. May Morrison, gets a doubly symbolic name, with May not only being a plant (another name for hawthorn), but also a month of fertility. And when an islander dies, they plant the tree the deceased was named after on the grave, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSvJgRSiJSM to symbolize that death is part of the cycle of life.]]
* ValuesDissonance: In-universe, with Howie being baffled or horrified at the islanders' pagan beliefs and the islanders being equally baffled by his Christian morality.
* TheVamp: [[spoiler:Willow]]
* [[ViewersAreGeniuses Viewers Are Of At Least Average Intelligence]]: Argued by ChristopherLee in the DVDCommentary, [[FunnyAneurysmMoment very shortly before the remake was announced]].
-->'''Christopher Lee''': This attitude that "[[ViewersAreMorons people wouldn't understand]]" is far too prevalent in cinema today. People should be able to use what's left of their minds when they watch something.
* VillainousCrossdresser: Lord Summerisle dresses as a woman for the May Day parade.
* VirginSacrifice
* WhatDoesSheSeeInHim: Howie's fellow police officers wonder this about his fiance.
* WickedCultured: Exemplified by Lord Summerisle; suave, eloquent and TheChessmaster behind luring an innocent policeman to his death.
* WrongInsultOffence:
-->'''Sgt. Howie:''' It means that you, sir, are a pagan!
-->'''Lord Summerisle:''' A heathen, conceivably, but not - I hope - an unenlightened one.
* XMeetsY: ''[[Creator/ArthurMachen The White People]]'' meets ''The Lottery''
* [[YoureInsane You're Insane]] / OnlySaneMan: "You're all raving mad!"
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!!The remake provides examples of:

* AuthorAppeal: This isn't the first film by Creator/NeilLaBute that [[InTheCompanyOfMen examined misogyny]].
* BearsAreBadNews: The infamous bear suit Cage dons in a scene.
* TheBechdelTest: Shockingly, it fails. On the other hand, it passes the reverse Bechdel Test which is impressive seeing how it contains a grand total of two male characters with lines.
* BeeBeeGun
* BigNo: Edward[[note]]Nicolas Cage[[/note]] when [[spoiler:Rowan sets fire to the wicker man and he realizes his fate]].
* ChekhovsGun: [[spoiler:Edward is allergic to bees. He is going to an island famed for its honey.]]
* ChewingTheScenery: NicolasCage, '''all the time'''.
* CreepyTwins: Though unusually for CreepyTwins, they're really old ladies, not kids.
* DreamWithinADream
* EverythingsWorseWithBees: '''[[MemeticMutation NOT THE BEES!!!]]'''
* GambitRoulette: The islander's plan would have fallen apart before it started, if Edward hadn't [[spoiler: been knocked unconscious while trying to save the two women in the burning car, allowing them to escape unseen]]. ThePlan only becomes more dependent on luck from that point on, considering how much of it required him to notice the right thing or even be facing the right direction at the right time.
* GenderFlip: Lord Summerisle was rewritten as Sister Summerisle
* TheHeroDies: [[spoiler:Like in the original, Edward himself at the end.]]
* HeroStoleMyBike: "Step away from the bike!"
* InNameOnly: Robin Hardy's attitude toward the remake.
* LadyLand: The island.
* LargeHam: NicolasCage. One can easily suspect he [[HamAndCheese knew how awful the film was and overacted on purpose.]]
* MakesJustAsMuchSenseInContext: Even knowing how all the MemeticMutation stuff fits into the narrative doesn't make it any more logical or understandable.
* AManIsNotAVirgin: Played straight: the virgin aspect was removed due to [=LaBute=] considering the notion of Cage playing a virgin ridiculous. They gave his character an allergy to bees instead. Not quite the same.
* MeaningfulName: The protagonist Edward '''Malus''', a lawman who spends the movie investigating a pagan cult, may be named for the '''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malleus_Maleficarum Malleus]]''' Malificarum, a treatise on prosecuting witches published in the 15th century.
** Alternatively, Malus is the Latin word for apple, and is used in the taxonomy of the species.
* MilkmanConspiracy: Malus arrives to the island and comes to head with a terrifying paganist cult of...beekeepers?
* MyGodYouAreSerious: Christopher Lee, who played Lord Sumerisle in the original, got this reaction when he mentioned the remake at a press conference.
--> '''Christopher Lee:''' I was very happy to be in it; it was a remarkable film. Occult film, with followings all over the world. They're talking about re-making it in America with Nicolas Cage. ''(the audience chuckles)'' [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M39giPEjE6Y No, that's what Universal says. They're going to re-make the movie.]]
* MythologyGag: A subtle one (if you can call anything in this movie "subtle"). As mentioned above, "Malus" is the Latin word for "apple", possibly referencing the 1973 original, where Lord Summerisle's cult carried out human sacrifices to ensure a successful apple harvest.
* ObviouslyEvil: One of the main criticisms is that unlike the 1973 film, the Summersisle inhabitants are ''obviously'' creepy.
* Podcast/RiffTrax: It makes the movie [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyeHf1ZK2dY watchable]].
* ShootTheShaggyDog
* ShoutOut: Nightmares about blonde girls in red raincoats are a reference to ''DontLookNow''.
** A {{Tuckerization}} of Edward Woodward, who played Sergeant Howie in the original film, is split between two characters: '''Edward''' Malus and Rowan '''Woodward'''.
* StrawFeminist: The cult.
* StupidEvil: The cult comes off as this, in stark contrast to the original film.
* TooDumbToLive: Edward, Cage's character - he barges onto the island and tries to throw his police weight around, with no plan, no actual authority enforce the non-existent plan and no backup. Not even a token visit to the local police to explain why he's there.
** Again, allergic to bees, yet goes to an island famous for...bee keeping.
** Even though Edward is bullying the citizens of the island with no back-up (or any apparent way of communicating with his superiors to ''ask'' for back-up), he stiil manages to ignore and overlook clear signs of evidence. When he sees two women carrying a corpse-shaped, slightly-moving bag with red liquid dripping from it, he just gets spooked by it and lets them walk away with it.
* WouldHitAGirl: Sending elderly ladies flying into walls with karate-side kicks, in fact. Cage's character [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YiV2BUlFzk8 punches one woman while wearing a suit and tie]], [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOpsbAUEe90 punches another while wearing a bear costume]], {{kick|TheDog}}s LeeleeSobieski, and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6i2WRreARo bikejacks another woman at gunpoint]]. Which has all been condensed [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-LYbB8RY1o here]]. To said character's defense, he thinks they're all conspiring to [[VirginSacrifice burn a little girl alive]]. [[spoiler:That's what they ''want'' him to think.]]
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