A upright, conservative police inspector (Edward Woodward) travels to a remote British Island to investigate the disappearance of an adolescent girl. There in addition to the nonchalant and hostile attitudes of the residents, he finds them fully immersed in paganism and led by a charismatic despot (Christopher Lee) as he gradually realizes he is in way over his head. From a screenplay by Anthony Shaffer, The Wicker Man is creepy, unsettling, and thrilling, a horror movie that imprints itself on the memory because it is made with meaning and a deeper purpose. Lee dominates the screen, Woodward is a strong and pitiable presence, and that ending is chilling and unforgettable.
*** 1/2 out of ****