These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Howie is a mostly reasonable police officer investigating the disappearance and possible death of a little girl. He's understandably frustrated when the community blatantly refuses to cooperate and act more and more suspicious as times goes on. Or...
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.
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 Godhas 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!"
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.
Memetic Mutation: AHHH, NOT THE BEES!!!note Ironically, this was only in the uncut version, not the theatrical cut.
KILLING ME WON'T BRING BACK YOUR GODDAMN HONEY
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.
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).
There is a heavy layer of misogyny present throughout the film. The main villain was changed from a man in the original to a woman in the remake, the Celtic neo-paganism of the original is diluted in favour of something which more resembles radical feminism, and Nicolas Cage runs around punching women in the face.
Plus quite literally EVERY significant (and insignificant) female in the movie is portrayed as being part of this evil female cult and wholeheartedly enjoying the murder and bee-related insanity that this incurs.
There's also another bad set of implications when Cage's character gets burned alive and the women of the island get ready to seduce a pair of poor young guys on the mainland.
Plus director Neil La Bute's other work hasn't exactly shown a very good attitude towards women...
These factors combined all enhance the disturbing subtext of the scenes where Nick Cage shrieks about the '''BITCHES!!!!!''' and throws punches at anything feminine by the end.
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.