The Wicker Man (2006)
Written and Directed by: Neil LaBute, based on the 1973 screenplay by Anthony Shaffer, based on the novel Ritual by Anthony Shaffer and David Pinner
Starring: Nicholas Cage, Kate Beahan, Ellen Burstyn, Diane Delano, Molly Parker, Leelee Sobieski, Mary Black, Christine Willes, Erika-Shaye Gair
Dear me. This was startlingly dull. Nothing happens. At all. Honest. Well, not until the end, at least.
It's about a police officer, disturbed by witnessing the death of a woman and her daughter, who gets a letter from his ex-fiance who lives on this crazy little island saying that her kid's been taken by the local religious cult. He spends the next hour and a half running around this island (a real purdy island, at that) looking for the little girl and getting stung by bees all for nothing.
Okay, okay, okay. I admit. I sometimes like movies where nothing happens, as long as they're scary enough to make up for it (in this case anyway. I mean, The Royal Tenenbaums isn't especially frightening, but you get my point, hopefully), but this isn't even that. The only scares in the movie aren't scary. They feel artificial and fabricated. Kind of as if they noticed that there was nothing even mildly disturbing in the whole movie, so they just stuck some shit in there at random. It's sad, really.
And yeah, I guess a cult of psychopathic feminist bitches who sacrifice people to the Bee God are scary to dirty little men with some serious phobias about women (and bees, I might add), but I thought they had a point. Anyone one with their sex organs on the outside needs to die (or at least live their whole lives mute). Duh.
It sort of gets into it's groove about 20 minutes prior to the end of the movie, going down the path of the weird and unusual, which is kind of interesting, but makes me wonder where was the weird before? Eh.
Nicholas Cage, whom I sometimes like, was particularly bad in this. I liked the part where they burned him. I thought that was just the greatest thing ever.
Some of the women in the movie were pretty good. Ellen Burstyn, of course. It wasn't a great role, and I would've rather watched Chris Lee, but hey, she's good. Mind you, I can't really watch Frances Conroy. She is and always will be Ruthie to me, I'm sorry (kind of a bitch, 'cause she's in every fucking thing).
I liked The Twist, too. That was great. I certainly didn't see THAT coming. I haven't seen the original, mind (I did notice that a couple of the characters were named after Edward Woodward, though). The problem with The Twist was that once you know what it is, you start to think about how irrational the behaviour of the cultists was up 'til that point.
I watched both the regular, mundane ending and the shocking alternate one, and I must say that I preferred the shocking alternate one, not that there was much difference. The regular one was longer and stupider. I guess the shocking part of the shocking ending was that you get to SEE guy getting his legs broken. Oh, and the part with the bees...
"AHHHHHHH!!!! Not the BEES!!! They're in my eyes!!! MY EYES!!!!!!" Man, that was funny.