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Genre: Horror/Thriller
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Ellen Burstyn, Leelee Sobieski, Christa Campbell
Director: Neil LaBute
Rating: PG (Some Violence)
Year Made: 2006




2 Editions of the movie - an Unrated Version (Side A) with an Alternate End Sequence Not Shown Theatrically and the Widescreen Theatrical Release Version (Side B)
- Commentary by Writer/Director Neil LaBute, Co-stars Leelee Sobieski and Kate Beahan, Editor Joel Plotch and Costume Designer Lynette Meyer
- Theatrical Trailer



Languages: English
Subtitles: English/Chinese
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital
Running Time: 1 hr 42 mins
Region Code: 3
Distributor: Origin Entertainment & Archer Entertainment APPL
Official Website:




"We are different here." Policeman Edward Malus does not yet know just how terrifyingly different the people of Summersisle are but he is soon to find out. He has come to the private island to find a missing child. And each step of his search draws him deeper into a web of pagan ritual and deadly deceit- and closer to THE WICKER MAN.

Nicolas Cage plays Malus, Ellen Burstyn portrays the eerie matriarch Sister Summersisle and Neil Labute writes and directs this gripping tale of unspeakable horror - a remake of the 1973 cult classic. Weary, wary and increasingly on the edge, Malus faces a defiant, unfamiliar world where his badge and gun mean nothing...and his presence means everything. It is the Day of Death and Rebirth on Summersisle. No one can escape.


If I could meet Nicolas Cage in person, one thing I would like to ask the actor is why he always appears so grave and serious – lighten up, dude! But that’s besides the point here, other than the fact that I’ve just watched Cage in another drearily sullen performance that does not make my already unhappy day any happier. It doesn’t help that he is starring in a Hollywood remake of a very iconic 1973 cult classic of the same name, which explored themes of religion and faith.

Cage plays a sheriff who goes to a remote island to investigate the mystery of his ex-fiancé’s missing daughter (no, it’s not his daughter, but it’s still nice of him to care). Terrifying secrets await him on the creepy island where the women address each other as “sisters” and everyone is dressed in fashionably-wrong clothes that you won’t want to be caught dead in.

Apparently, the 1973 original directed by Robin Hardy is a film with one of the most chilling pictures ever made, and features one of movie history’s greatest plot twists. Alas, when the movie studio decided to sign on Neil LaBute (Nurse Betty, Possession) to helm this “re-imagining” of the cult classic, it did not expect critics everywhere to pan the movie this badly.

The 102-minute movie plays out blandly with Cage running all around the island shouting at anyone whom he thinks is suspicious. One sequence where he hysterically runs into a classroom full of girls discussing about, hold your breath, phallic symbols, had me rolling in laughter. I don’t think that was the intention of the director, though.

Given that the movie also stars reliable actresses like Ellen Burstyn (Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain) and Leelee Sobieski (Eyes Wide Shut, The Glass House), their presence is ultimately wasted. Who can take Burstyn seriously when her face is painted in blue and white while she commands a horde of angry women on the island? Who can find Sobieski attractive when she spouts badly-written lines like “When you leave the island, take me with you”?

To be fair, the cinematography by Paul Sorossy (Where the Truth Lies) offers some nice camerawork and the music score by Angelo Badalamenti (Dark Water) captures the somber mood of the movie. Otherwise, I remain puzzled why I’ve never been entertained by Cage’s performance. Oh, there was a moment when Cage donned a bear suit and marched around the island. That made me chuckle a bit.


This Code 3 DVD contains a “Shocking Alternate Ending” featuring James “Green Goblin” Franco which isn’t that shocking in my opinion. There is also a Commentary where the director gathers co-stars Sobieski and Kate Beahan, editor Joel Plotch and costume designer Lynette Meyer to talk about mundane stuff like how they named the sisters on the island after all things associated with nature, and how a five-minute opening sequence involved editing from two hours worth of footage. An obligatory Theatrical Trailer is also included in the disc.


The disc’s visual transfer of the movie is clear and pristine, but not enough to save the movie from being panned. It is presented in English Dolby Digital 5.1.



Review by John Li


. The Wicker Man (Movie Review)

Other titles from Origin Entertainment:

. The Contractor

. Blood & Chocolate

. Wind Chill

. Are We Done Yet?

. Android Apocalypse

. Elizabeth I

. The Proposition

. 3 Needles

. Ghost Rider

. The Pursuit of Happyness

. The Illusionist

. Catch & Release


This review is made possible with the kind support from Origin Entertainment


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