by Jim Ridley
The version of The Wicker Man showing midnight Friday and Saturday at The Belcourt isn't the recent Neil LaBute remake — best enjoyed as a YouTube clip reel of Nicolas Cage punching women, flailing at bees and conducting an all-around doctorate-level class in batshit insanity — but Robin Hardy’s deeply disturbing 1973 original, now touring the country in a digital restoration.
Edward Woodward, TV’s The Equalizer (or Hot Fuzz’s tweedy mad bomber, to you whippersnappers), is the policeman dispatched to a remote Scottish island to investigate a girl’s disappearance. What he finds is … well, the less you know about the twists and tonal shifts devised by screenwriter Anthony Shaffer (Sleuth, Hitchcock’s Frenzy), the harder you’ll be sucker-punched by its final destination.
Co-starring Christopher Lee, Britt Ekland and Hammer horror vixen Ingrid Pitt — the movie’s eroticized unease looms large in its legend — the movie is this weekend’s Belcourt horror offering (heh) in the windup to Halloween.