YMMV: The Wicker Man

The Original Film Provides Examples Of:

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: There are two camps for Howie's character -
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: Was that naked crying woman on the grave ever explained?
    • In the extended version, we see a group of young islanders out on the village green, having sex. Horny as the island is, it seems odd that they would all choose to do so at the same time, so there's most likely some ritual reason for it, something to do with the approaching May Day. She's just visiting her lover, as all the other women in the scene were doing.
  • Ear Worm: The Maypole song.
  • Freud Was Right: The film.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Arguments can be made for Lord Summerisle, who manipulates the entire population of his island to help him manipulate Howie, managing to come across as really evil but so damn affablly so.
  • Misaimed Fandom: Word of God has gone on the record to say, no matter how appealing you find Summerisle and how irritating Howie might be, the murderous pagan cult in this film is not supposed to be considered good at all. But there are some neopagan viewers who don't get this...
    • Also, some neopagan viewers hate the movie because the pagans are the bad guys. But actually, the reason behind this particular group of pagans going bad is given in great detail by Lord Summerisle in the movie, and isn't supposed to represent all pagans.
  • Ron the Death Eater: Some viewers can't get past Howie's prudish religious/authoratative behavior and consider him an Asshole Victim by the end, but putting all religion and whatnot aside, he is the only character in the film who is trying to save a life (or at least thinks he is), while the affable islanders have manipulation and murder on their minds.
    • It's also worth noting that Howie doesn't initially act religiously intolerant toward the islanders; he just ignores their paganism the best he can and tries to do his policework. It's only when the islanders keep on dicking around with him and not cooeparating that his anger brings out the uglier side of his religious views.
      • Putting religion aside, most of what the community does would outrage or at least shock the average joe, let alone a devout, strict, churchgoer. A little kid who tortures an insect for no apparent reason... a bunch of people engaging in public sex... a woman sitting naked in a graveyard... very young adolescent girls dancing naked in broad daylight...
  • Squick: During the film's US release, Christopher Lee did a radio spot, playing a post-film Lord Summerisle responding to allegations toward him and his cult of murder with "We love the flesh, even as it BURNS! ...Aaaah, the sweet smell of burning flesh!"

The 2006 Remake Provides Examples Of:

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: One fan-made trailer states that The Wicker Man was actually a Stealth Parody.
  • Corpsing: Near the end, Ellen Burstyn can barely keep a straight face. Considering the dialogue and the Braveheart-esque face paint she's wearing, you can hardly blame her.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: The Nicholas Cage version. Violence against women has never been so hilarious.
  • Fountain of Memes
  • Ham and Cheese: Nicolas Cage's acting is as over the top as ever, but when interviewed seemed annoyed that it was assumed the film wasn't meant to be ridiculous. He maintains that the over-the-top-ness was intentional.
  • Makes Just as Much Sense in Context: This montage of scenes from the film. On their own, they're hilariously inexplicable. Viewers who saw the film have said they make even less sense in their context.
  • Memetic Mutation: AHHH, NOT THE BEES!!!note 
    • How'd it get burned? How'd it get burned!? HOWDITGETBURNED HOWDITGETBUUURNED!!??
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: The original's version of Howie was disliked by many audiences because of his religious behavior. Thanks to Cage's ham-filled performance, the remake's Howie (renamed "Malus") brings life to what would otherwise be an atrociously boring film.
  • So Bad, It's Good: The remake is a bad horror movie, but it's a great comedy.
  • Special Effects Failure: In Cage's famous dying rant, ("No! NOT THE BEES") he screams twice that the bees are, "IN MY EYES!". We can clearly see that they're not.
  • Took the Bad Film Seriously: Played straight with the actors for the cultists. Completely averted by Nicholas Cage, who's has gone on the record saying that he quickly realized how awful the film was (which might explain some of his more goofy moments).
  • What an Idiot: The denizens of the island act as suspiciously as possible, and any rational cop would call for back-up or at least alert authorities that he was in a potentially dangerous situation so things would be investigated if he didn't come back. Even in handling the case of the missing little girl, he bungles it; waiting several hours before taking the first step of asking to be shown the last place she was seen.