Parents' Guide to

The Wicker Man (1973)

By Charles Cassady Jr., Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Classic British horror has sex, threat, mature themes.

Movie R 1974 88 minutes
The Wicker Man (1973) Movie Poster: Illustration of dancing women in front of a large male figure made of wicker

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 18+

Well-made movie, lots of suspense.

I really liked this movie, but thought that it was creepy and suspenseful. It also has very good music. Although, the religion on the island made the movie very bizarre, but all of the rising action in the movie kept me hooked to see what would happen next. There is too much sex for kids to watch this movie, but Sergeant Howie could serve as a positive role model, as he is determined to find out the details of the missing young girl and to find out why the island in which she disappeared is what it is. It is an interesting concept, but because of the sex and the heavy religious themes that are featured in the film, it’s for adults and older teens only.
age 18+

Don’t watch this movie!

This is a horrible movie. There is so much nudity and it is completely uncalled for. If you have kids and are considering letting them watch this please don’t, adults shouldn’t watch it let alone kids. It shouldn’t be classified as horror either, it’s more of a drama.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (4 ):
Kids say (8 ):

This isn't a horror movie full of jump scares or gory slashings, but relies more on discomfort and unease to make its impact. The Wicker Man is a disturbing suspense drama about religious ideas in deadly conflict. In this case, a remote British community has rejected conventional Christianity in favor of the ancient ways of Druid-style worship and ritual. Much of it seems harmless, until it doesn't, and then things take a turn for the uneasy, a sense of doom lurking around every oddly jovial corner.

There's a "twist" ending that can be predicted fairly easily, but that doesn't make the movie's finale any less creepy or uncomfortable. Unlike typical Hollywood horror-movie settings, Summerisle is an attractive place where everybody seems cheerful, friendly, and content -- as long as the harvest goes well. While The Wicker Man isn't recommended as family viewing, the religious angle (which is practically absent in the 2006 remake) offers a number of things that parents of mature kids could talk about. You could argue that The Wicker Man makes a pro-Christianity statement, since it shows dire consequences for a society that goes the opposite way. But the outcome is pessimistic and doom-laden.

Movie Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate