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YMMV / The Wicker Man (2006)

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  • Alternate Aesop Interpretation: Neil LaBute claims that he was trying to show what patriarchial power dynamics would be like if the genders were reversed. Most viewers get the exact opposite vibe from the movie, thinking it's anti-feminist to absurd degrees - his intended message likely falls flat from the men having their tongues cut out in adulthood, and the ritualistic sacrifice, which are hardly present in your average patriarchal-society.
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  • Alternative Character Interpretation: One fan-made trailer states that The Wicker Man was actually a Stealth Parody.
  • Anvilicious: Either way you take the film's supposed moral (see above), it still comes across as this.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: Wait, wait, wait. Summersisle has a website? Malus couldn't get cell reception!
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Violence against women has never been so unintentionally hilarious.
  • Discredited Meme: The "Not the Bees!" scene has been overused so much over the years that some have gotten sick, tired and annoyed by it, and don't get what makes this scene stand out more than most of the other scenes.
  • Ham and Cheese: Nicolas Cage's acting is as over-the-top as ever, but when interviewed he seemed annoyed that it was assumed the film wasn't meant to be ridiculous. He maintains that the over-the-top-ness was intentional.
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  • Harsher in Hindsight: Neil Labute (who directed this movie) would later go on to direct another reviled remake. This time of Death at a Funeral.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • No wonder Nic Cage was complaining about the bees. He prefers spiders!
    • On the flipside, about a year later, DC would wind up releasing an event comic where bees would also become rather memetic.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • AHHH, NOT THE BEES!!!note 
    • How'd it get burned? How'd it get burned!? HOWDITGETBURNED HOWDITGETBUUURNED!!??
      • I! DON'T! KNOW!
    • What's in the bag, a shark or something?
  • Narm: So very much:
    • Nearly every scene where Malus gets dramatic. The bit with the bees is probably the most notable example.
    • The way Malus goes around punching and kung-fu kicking all the cultists during the finale, especially the bit where he silently walks up to the innkeeper before randomly punching her in the face.
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    • Never has a little girl getting hit by a truck looked so hilarious. The fact they use it continuously doesn't help.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • Despite the Narmy performance of Nicolas Cage, getting a mask filled with angry bees stinging your face is a horrifying thought, especially if you're allergic to bees like Cage's character.
    • Cage is left screaming in agony and horror as he burns alive in the wicker man. Seriously, the long scream he lets out before the cut to the cultists enjoying the sight will stay with you for a while after.
  • Nightmare Retardant:
    • The weird, Braveheart face paint that the cult leader is wearing in the climax.
    • Let's go ahead and say most, if not all of the cult outfits during the climax are pretty ridiculous. It's hard to take you seriously or see you as frightening when you're dressed in bee costumes that look straight out of a school play.
    • Also, this film's wicker man structure. It looks too much like an Art Deco version of a forest ranger's lookout tower.
  • 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.
    • That said, Howie from the original film actually makes a cameo in the remake, where he appears on a missing poster in one scene, making it clear that Edward and Howie are two different characters, thus averting this trope.
  • Signature Scene: The infamous "NOT THE BEES!" scene is probably the most well-known scene of the film, for many reasons.
  • So Bad, It's Good: The remake is a bad horror movie, but it's a great comedy. Also, in his review on Ebert & Roeper, Richard Roeper almost gives the film a thumbs-up just because it's "a cinematic car wreck".
    Critics' consensus: Puzzlingly misguided, Neil LaBute's update The Wicker Man struggles against unintentional comedy and fails.
  • Special Effect 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. That, and they decided they wanted to be his beard for the night.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: The original movie was a musical, of all things. Fans of the original were not happy to see that the remake omitted that element, despite the fact it's what made the original so unique. And the fact that Neil LaBute, the remake's director, was smug enough to tell fans that he doesn't want them to watch his remake if they liked the original film's soundtrack really didn't help.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Moving the original movie's events to an American setting is actually an intriguing concept, but placing the story in The Other Rainforest when it's better suited for Lovecraft Country or a Southern Gothic setting was the remake's first misstep.
  • Took the Bad Film Seriously:
    • Played straight with the actors for the cultists.
    • Completely averted by Nicholas Cage, who has gone on the record saying that he quickly realized how awful the film was (which might explain some of his more goofy moments).
  • Watch It for the Meme: Perhaps the only reason the film has any fans today, although curious viewers are advised to avoid the theatrical cut, which omits the classic "NOT THE BEES!!" showstopper.
  • 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.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: Why are James Franco and Jason Ritter in the epilogue? The movie is surreal enough as it is, it didn't need these two guys to show up like they just walked out of a romantic comedy that was happening outside the bar.


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