It's really more appropriate for May Day, but I felt like The Wicker Man was a fitting enough movie to watch on Easter. It has chocolate bunnies, anyway.
Or as Mrs. Morrison corrected Howie, "Those are hares, not silly old rabbits. Lovely March hares."
I guess one could say the movie's about the dysfunction inherent in religious belief, whether it's Christian or pagan. It doesn't really feel like that to me, though. The movie portrays extreme examples for both cases, so it's not really a good argument. It seems more like a portrait of just how fascinatingly bizarre and sinister the human mind can be. In this sense, one could say it is a horror film, but it's also a movie that makes me question the existence of the horror genre. Almost every decent so-called horror movie I can think of can be described as really being a drama or comedy that happens to have scary moments or just a horror aesthetic. I think the heart of the horror genre is the relationship between guilt and mystery.
I watched the original Japanese version of The Ring (リング) for the first time last week. It's not a particularly great film, but it has that complex, that confrontation of guilt and its oppressive perplexity manifested by an almost arbitrarily vindictive and unforgiving supernatural force. The Wicker Man, too--the movie's not content to simply laugh at straight laced, deeply religious Howie. When he's told his own actions have led him to a fate far worse than rationally he deserves, we recoil a bit. It's this moment of disorientation, this moment where we find ourselves trapped and threatened by our own presumptions, that's where horror exists.
Of course, I can't watch The Wicker Man without thinking of Sonya, and I should mention her recent review of The Invisible Man isn't just the best review by her I've seen, it's one of the best things she's ever written.