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Release Date: January 27, 2012
MPAA Rating: R
Director: Robin Hardy
FilmPulse Score: 4/10

The Wicker Tree is the true sequel to the 1973 horror classic The Wicker Man. You may remember the terrible 2006 remake of this with Nicholas Cage, but rest assured, this is not a sequel to that one.

The film was written and directed by Robin Hardy, who not only wrote and directed the original film, but is also 83 years old. Other than the original Wicker Man, Hardy only directed one other movie called The Fantasist in 1986.

If you remember the plot to the original film, you’ll find yourself in familiar territory with this one as well. Two Jesus-loving country kids go to Scotland for some missionary work and end up in a creepy little village where all is clearly not as it seems.

The first thing that comes to mind when discussing the plot of this film is the fact that apparently Scotland is a land full of the forsaken.  Now, I’m not a religious person by any means, but I wasn’t aware that Scotland was on the list of places that required missionary help. I guess all those kilts are the work of the devil.

Much like the original, this movie is a slow burn. Unfortunately, the payoff at the end is somewhat anti-climatic. Although it’s not a huge disappointment, it should have been slightly more shocking or just longer, considering what we had to suffer through to get there. Those of you looking for some scares or gore, forget about this one. It should also be noted that Christopher Lee, who starred in the original, gets top billing in the sequel, and shows up for about two minutes during the last quarter.

The thing is, there’s not too much that’s inherently wrong with the film, but then again it’s not good either.  It’s a level of mediocrity I haven’t seen in a while.  The acting ranges from piss-poor to so-so, the plot can be interesting at times, and feel preachy and dull at others, and everything else feels bland and lifeless.

If you were a fan of the original, you may be interested to see what’s happening in that crazy Scottish village, but if not, don’t bother with this one. If you want to see a film about a creepy village, watch Frontier(s) instead.

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