The Wicker Man is one of those notorious movies where it’s hard not to stumble upon YouTube clips before you’ve actually seen it. It stars Nicolas Cage and probably marks the movie that started his downward spiral during which he became known for making crappy movies and overacting wildly in them. The Wicker Man somehow qualifies for both as he acts sleepily for most of the movie before going completely over the top in the end. Is the movie crappy? That is so hard to say, at least for me. I know it is heralded as one of the most unintentionally funny movies ever and I can see that. There are definitely enough scenes that can make you laugh because they are so weird. But the director is Neil LaBute who is normally a very deliberate writer and director of thought-provoking movies that never make it easy for the viewer to make easy judgments. I have read his plays in school and really liked some of his movies (The Shape of Things, Nurse Betty). So what happened here? Cage said in interviews that they intended to make an absurd comedy but the movie does not make that clear enough. LaBute is also known for challenging gender roles and The Wicker Man is full of that. But what is the movie trying to say?
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