Robin Hardy‘s re-imaging of the original Wicker Man film titled The Wicker Tree is an abomination to film. It’s not scary or bloody enough to be considered a horror film and it’s certainly not funny enough to be classified as a comedy. It sort of sits between the two, existing just barely. The only entertainment that comes from this movie is the unexpected music numbers, followed by some really weird sex and an even odder climax. The Wicker Tree feels low-budget, from its overacting (or none-acting) to its cringe-worthy dialogue. Just about everything feels like something from the Lifetime Network or the SyFy channel.
Beth (Brittania Nicol) and Steve (Henry Garrett) are two born-again missionaries that set their sights on a small town in Scotland. What begins as an innocent act of preaching slowly turns into a sexualized tale of sin and horror.
They accept an invitation to participate in a local festival, which leads them even deeper down the rabbit hole. What follows is an hour and a half of bizarre attempted humor, mixed with a little blood and some out-of-nowhere sex scenes that are fueled by said humor. The Wicker Tree isn’t funny, scary or thoughtful, it’s just another trashy made-for-TV film that goes nowhere in a hurry.
There’s absolutely nothing in the film worth complimenting. The acting ranges from nails on a chalkboard to dull and the direction remains bland with no intentions of making a single shot look interesting.
I guess you could compliment the film on being so damn weird and odd, but I’m not sure how much of that was intentional and how much of that came from me trying to find something to keep my eyes open. There’s a lot of messy dialogue that comes out so painfully dry and force read that you might chuckle a few times.
The Wicker Tree is exactly the kind of Redbox film that you avoid. It isn’t a true horror film and it isn’t an actual comedy. It’s instead a crazy attempted blend of the two, with the result being of poor quality.
The 1080p video transfer is slightly on the soft side, with occasional definition making its way through all the shit and filth of the film’s quality. The transfer is bright and has some clean colors, but it never reaches maximum potential and I’m willing to bet it’s due to equipment limitations when filming (or mastering).
The 5.1 Dolby TrueHD audio track suffers the same fate. It’s a good and clean track, but it doesn’t break the barriers for lossless surround sound. I can’t really complain about it too much, but it doesn’t get points for being innovative.
Rounding out the disc is 3 short special features. The first is a making-of doc that offers quick glimpses at the red carpet as well as cast and crew discussions. The second is a small batch of deleted scenes and the third is the theatrical trailer. Here’s a detailed list below:
- The Making of The Wicker Tree (SD)
- Deleted Scenes (SD)
- The Wicker Tree Trailer (HD)
To sum up my already short review I’ll just remind you once more not to purchase this film. Do not rent it and more importantly do not buy it! The Wicker Tree is bad and it shouldn’t be experienced on any medium. To make the Blu-Ray even more unappealing they’ve decided to present two-thirds of the special features in standard definition. That makes the disc an empty and wasted chance at making a bad movie slightly better.
Skip this release by all means and maybe someday you’ll catch it on SyFy and remember why you spent your money elsewhere.