The Wicker Man directed by Robin Hardy (1973). A Police officer Sgt Howie is sent to a small village on an island Summerisle to investigate the disappearance of a girl. The locals are far from helpful with Howie claiming that the girl doesn’t exist. He is determined to get to the bottom of the disappearance and find the girl.
Right from the outset of the film it shows a subtle hint that the officer is being played and controlled by the villagers. Sgt Howie enters the school, opens the girls desk to find a bug attached to a string nailed to the centre of the desk walking in circles getting closer to the centre. This shows metaphorically what will happen through the continuation of the film.
This film namely works around basic fears which are always close to use. Hardy uses this to great effect within this film. The feeling of paranoia is clear within in this film from the beginning in Howie. The villagers are working together toying and playing with the officer knowing full well what’s going on. When Howie sets off to return, his plane has been tampered with. This on top of the paranoia and conspiracy, he is now stranded on strange lands with no escape.
Hardy also uses the fact that the ways of Summerisle are unfamiliar, playing with the pagan, voodoo and the mystery that surrounds it. This keeps the viewer on edge not knowing what to expect and slowly inducing fear as more of the rituals and ways are shown.There has been a recent remake of this film, this is a symbol that we fear the unknown and unfamiliar rituals of different religions. Where immigrants are coming from abroad and showing there heritage with no fear of hiding it, the unfamiliar ways scares us.