"The Wicker Man" (2006)
Dir: Neil Labute
Let's be fair for a minute. I am going to try not to compare this to the 1973 film it's (loosely) based on and take it on its own merit instead. Pretend I've never seen nor heard of the original, OK? So in this one, we have a square, obnoxious, charisma-barren traffic cop (Nicholas Cage, excelling in this role, due to being all of those things quite naturally) who gets a letter from an ex-fiancé, asking him to come track down her missing child. She lives on a island somewhere near Washington, so Cage flies out, only to discover she's actually part of this creepy commune who worship Ellen Burstyn (stay with me, here). They try to scare him with twins who talk in unison, swarms of bees and a butch barmaid who looks and talks like Philip Seymour Hoffman, but it soon becomes apparent that they have even darker plans in mind for him. The story, as it unfolds, becomes less coherent and the total lack of religious research makes the commune's beliefs offensively vague and moronic. Nothing they do follows any logical train of thought beyond "uh, yeah, we like killing. We're mad, we are." Also, Cage's character behaves stupidly throughout and the constant need by the director to make him appear to be danger (ie: the thunderous orchestral score when he falls through a wooden floor in a barn; the continual portentous hallucinations he suffers for no apparent or explained reason) grates almost instantly. When taken on its own merit, this film is a clumsy, atrociously written, over-directed, idiotic, pointless 100 minutes of absolute nonsense with not a single redeeming value. When compared to the original, it's just downright insulting. This is truly the nadir of the recent remake craze and one of the very worst films I've ever seen in my life.