The Wicker Man (1973/2006)

D: Robin Hardy
British Lion (Peter Snell)
UK 1973
102 mins


W: Anthony Shaffer
DP: Harry Waxman
Ed: Eric Boyd-Perkins
Mus: Paul Giovanni 
PD: Seamus Flannery
Cos: Sue Yelland

Edward Woodward (Sgt. Howie), Britt Ekland (Willow), Christopher Lee (Lord Summerisle), Ingrid Pitt (Librarian), Diane Cilento (Miss Rose), Lindsay Kemp (Alder McGregor), Russell Waters (Harbour Master)

A curious mix of mystery, thriller, horror, and, to a certain extent, musical which works effectively well due to its macabre theme, ascetic setting and a handful of excellent performances. 
Edward Woodward plays Scottish policeman Sgt. Howie, who flies to a remote island off the mainland to investigate a missing persons case and witnesses strange happenings during his visit, including the disturbing rituals of the pagan cult who dwell there, led by Christopher Lee, who delivers his greatest ever performance in a career defined with villainous characters.
The theme of the film burns slowly, full of intrigue and mystery before the final reveal, which is simply unforgettable. Not just a classic of British filmmaking, but a true classic of horror. 
The film was remade (incredibly poorly) in 2006, though that version should be avoided at all costs.
Christopher Lee in The Wicker Man
Christopher Lee in The Wicker Man

Be careful what you search for
Be careful what you search for
D: Neil LaBute
Warner Bros./Alcon/Saturn/Millennium (Nicolas Cage, Norm Golightly, Randall Emmett, Avi Lerner, Boaz Davidson & John Thompson)
US/Germany 2006
102 mins


W: Neil LaBute [based on the screenplay by Anthony Shaffer]
DP: Paul Sarossy
Ed: Joel Plotch
Mus: Angelo Badalamenti

Nicolas Cage (Edward Malus), Kate Leahan (Willow Woodward), Ellen Burstyn (Sister Summerisle), Frances Conroy (Dr. T.H. Moss), Molly Parker (Sister Rose / Sister Thorn), Leelee Sobieski (Sister Honey)

A piss poor remake of a classic horror movie from 1973 about a devout Christian policeman investigating a disappearance of a little girl on a remote Scottish island populated with a Pagan cult. This remake relocates the action to America *sigh* with Nicolas Cage overacting at every opportunity as the same policeman, minus any religious connection. There is no Pagan cult in this remake either, instead it's an island of women, making this no more than some battle of the sexes bullshit. 
The original features one of Christopher Lee's best ever performances, in the remake he is replaced by Ellen Burstyn with her worse ever screen performance.
There are several reasons why this could be the worst remake ever made...
1. It didn't need to be remade
2. A Californian island is no substitute for a remote Scottish island
3. Swapping Pagans for women
4. Nicolas Cage's ridiculous performance as the world's worst policeman
5. It removes everything that was occult about the first movie
6. Edward Woodward about to meet his fate screaming "Pagans! Pagans!" is scary, Nicolas Cage screaming "Bitches! Bitches!" isn't.
7. Nicolas Cage dressed as a bear and drop kicking women 
8. The bees
It's not completely unfair to say this is the worst remake ever made, but also one of the worst films ever made. It really is that big an insult to celluloid.

Nicolas Cage in The Wicker Man
Nicolas Cage in The Wicker Man