Cowboys for Christ Rather than a Wicker Man Sequel
Beth (Brittania Nicol) and her cowboy fiance Steve (Henry Garret) are over the moon when they are invited over to Britain from the States so that Beth can perform in a Christian concert as they just love to spread the word of God. What neither of these two innocents realise is that the local Pagans have an interest in them for a very different reason but they sure will realise it before their stay in the quaint village is out.
Firstly, oh dear what the heck happened there then. But secondly let me try and explain exactly what is wrong with "The Wicker Tree" because when you think about the details it is kind of easy to make sense of what the heck went wrong, that is if you can calm down.
So back in 1973 Robin Hardy directed "The Wicker Man", which was based on an Anthony Shaffer screenplay and became a cult classic. Some time in the next 38 years Robin Hardy penned a novel called "Cowboys for Christ" which whilst I haven't read it used a similar theme to "The Wicker Man" of pagan worshipping in a small village and innocents walking in basically at the wrong time. So when the novel was adapted in to a movie they used the connections to call it "The Wicker Tree" despite it not being a sequel. As such there are many differences including a lack of intrigue which seems to have annoyed almost everyone who watched this thinking it was a sequel of sorts.
But then there is another issue which has angered fans of the original "The Wicker Man" and that is "The Wicker Tree" has a different style, a contemporary style aimed at a younger audience rather than those who watched the original and became fans. I am not sure whether the contemporary style works for a young audience because at times it almost feels like it is being tongue in cheek but I agree with the decision not to try and recreate the style of the original because it would have never come close to getting it right.
That leads me to what is the biggest issue with "The Wicker Tree" and that is the acting throughout, with maybe a couple of exceptions, is over the top. It isn't even enjoyably over the top but adds to that whole sense of being tongue in cheek.
What this all boils down to is that "The Wicker Man" probably would have made for an entertaining horror comedy but unfortunately there are to many signals which connect it to "The Wicker Man" and that is its undoing.