A young Texas couple (Brittania Nicol and Henry Garrett) travel to the Scottish lowlands to spread the gospel throughout a rural community. But instead of sharing the pleasures of heaven, they will discover a nightmare of sexual temptation and unholy terror. Graham McTavish and Honeysuckle Weeks co-star in this disturbing new exploration of faith, fear and the ultimate pagan sacrifice.
From the director of the original 1970’s cult hit The Wicker Man comes this pseudo-sequel, The Wicker Tree that modernizes the original story by replacing the uptight Episcopalian character played by Edward Woodward with the young and perky Texan Evangelical Christian Beth Boothby (Brittania Nichol); the gospel singing young missionary who travels to Scotland to bring Christianity to the locals.
The story is based on a novel originally written by director Robin Hardy, titled Cowboys for Christ; and is the first work to come from Hardy since the mid eighties. Yet the movie has a surprising amount of guts that I genuinely didn’t expect in what is essentially a remake from an 82 year old man. In many places I found the film was a pleasant surprise.
Despite telling what is essentially the same story as the original The Wicker Tree takes quite a different tact than it’s predecessor; it takes a much more humorous and satirical approach to the same themes as The Wicker Man – almost as though updating it for a new, younger audience.
The Wicker Tree lacks The Wicker Man’s intensity and much of its horror, but it has a knowing, self reflecting quality that is likely to appeal to many new viewers. Though has nothing on the original cult classic, The Wicker Tree has it’s own charm and is reasonably interesting and enjoyable.