NOTE: This spoiler was sent in by Funshine and edited by Leprechaun
The movie begins in a diner. Two men are eating at a counter in a diner. One man gets up, pays his tab and leaves. The waitress asks the remaining customer, who is evidently a cop, “Where’s your friend?” The cop points behind him at a bookshelf, where the other cop, Edward Malus (Nicholas Cage), is standing. The waitress tells Edward that his salad is ready, but Edward only says thanks and continues reading the book.
In the next scene, Edward is on a routine drive on his motorcycle. He’s driving in a desert area. After pulling over a teenager and giving him a warning, Edward continues on his drive. After awhile, he notices a station wagon. Suddenly, a small doll is thrown out of the car. Edward, being the good man that he is, picks up the doll and turns on his siren so the station wagon will pull over. The driver turns out to be a fairly young lady (mid-30s) with a small daughter. The woman apologizes to Edward, saying that her little girl has been acting strangely all morning. Edward accepts her apology and returns the doll to the girl. The mother assures Edward that it won’t happen again and thanks Edward for returning the toy.
Edward bids farewell to the little girl and begins to leave, but the little girl throws the doll back out of the car. The mother apologizes again as Edward goes to retrieve the doll. As he bends over to pick it up, a large truck speeds out from nowhere and crashes into the station wagon. The entire car is immediately set on fire. Edward rushes to the rear of the car and sees that the little girl is still alive. He uses his helmet to smash the window open and tells the girl to take his hand. Unfortunately, before the girl can take his hand, the car explodes and Edward is pushed back away from the car by the force of the explosion.
A couple days later, Edward is sitting in his apartment when a fellow officer, knocks at his window. Edward is clearly surprised by the visitor, and jumps in his seat. He goes and opens the door, and welcomes her in. She asks him how he’s been doing, and it is clear that the entire station has been worried for Edward’s well-being. He asks her about the mother and daughter from the car accident, but there were no bodies found, and the car itself was not even registered, she comments that they will probably never know who they were. Before leaving she hands him a stack of get-well-soon letters that were dropped off at the station, he sees that one of the letters is from his ex-fiancé, Willow (Britt Eckland). The letter says that her daughter has been missing for several days and that she needs his help. Edward gets dressed and heads down to the station, surprising his coworkers. He finds his partner and tells him about Willow’s letter. His partner is unsympathetic to Willow and says “You’re a cop, what are you trying to do? Play detective?” The partner goes on to say that Willow never seemed to really care about Edward, so he shouldn’t care about her. Edward ignores his partner and heads to Washington. He sees a sea plane pilot and asks him where Summersisle is. The sea plane pilot tells Edward that Summersisle is a private island and that he makes daily deliveries there.
Edward asks him if he can get a ride to the island, but the sea plane pilot says that his plane can only carry the cargo. Edward makes a witty statement and bribes the sea plane pilot to take them over. (he, Mr. grant, and his identical twin brother Ulysses) Edward arrives on the island and goes up a hill, where he sees an elderly woman. It is obvious that the people here do not like strangers. She asks him whether Edward is a doctor or not. Two men are walking up the hill with a large load. Edward notices that the bag is dripping a dark red liquid resembling blood. Edward is somewhat distracted, but he turns to the woman and asks whether she’s seen this girl or not. He shows her a picture of a small girl about 7 or 8 years old with blonde hair wearing a red dress and jacket. It’s Rowan, Willow’s daughter. The woman tells him that she’s never seen the girl before. Edward turns away and asks the men what’s in the bag. One of the women says, “You wanna see what’s in this bag, I’ll show you!” (on a side note…the men on the island never speak through out the entire move, you can see that the entire place is run by the women and the men are pretty much treated like chattel) Edward flips open a part of the bag, he doesn’t see anything, but the bag jerks and he jumps back. The two men and the woman are all laughing now, and as Edward walks up the hill, he hears the old woman laughing and saying, “It’s not her [Willow’s] daughter, that’s for sure!” He soon reaches a lodge. There’s a café on the lower level of the lodge and the quarters are above. Edward goes over to the counter. The woman at the counter is rather rough-looking and is named Sister Beech. He shows her Rowan’s picture again, but she doesn’t recognize the girl. Sister Beech hands Edward a cup of hot water. Edward sees a bee on the countertop, and brings his cup down on the unsuspecting insect, instantly killing it. His cup made a loud noise, and now the entire café is focused on him. Sister Beech says to Edward, “Now why in the world did you do that?” Edward tells the sister that he had to do it because he’s allergic.
Edward walks away from the café and meets Sister Honey, who takes him to his room. He goes into his room and puts his things away. As he’s unpacking, he realizes that the book he was reading in the diner is missing. He goes back downstairs and asks the waitress whether anyone was looking through his things. He sees Willow looking rather melancholy. She walks towards him and tells Edward that they need to talk privately. She tells him to meet her at the bay. When he walks down to the bay sometime later, Willow is already there. She tells him that she’s really glad he came, but Edward only asks why Willow didn’t ask Rowan’s father for help instead. She tells him that it’s because she trusts him more.
Willow tells Edward not to believe the other villagers because so far, no one has recognized the little girl. Edward takes the photo back out and asks Willow what Rowan is wearing in the picture. Willow tells Edward that she made the sweater for Rowan last Christmas and that the picture was taken not too long ago. Edward tells Willow that he’ll help her find Rowan, but Willow tells him that since the townspeople are all so suspicious of her, they’ll always have to talk in private.
We next see Edward again. It’s now around 7 or 8 and Edward is heading to his room. Once he arrives there, he hears Sister Beech and four other sisters talking. It’s a meeting of some sort, apparently. He ignores them and lays on his bed for awhile, thinking about Rowan. Edward can’t seem to get to sleep, so he gets up and looks out the window. He sees a little girl, and immediately thinks that it’s Rowan. He runs out of the lodge and chases her into a barn. He follows the noises until he’s in the third layer of the barn. He notices a small room and walks inside. Suddenly, the entire room collapses, and Edward is left hanging on a pillar. He climbs back up and leaves the barn.
In the next scene, it’s morning and Edward is trying to pour some honey into his tea rather unsuccessfully. Sister Honey walks in and Edward says to her that this is store-bought and that he thought they used homemade honey. She apologizes but tells him that they don’t have any Royal Honey, not even a drop. She offers him some sugar instead and he accepts. She leaves to go get the sugar and while she’s gone, Edward notices a wall covered with the same picture. In every single picture, there’s a little girl who looks very similar to Rowan. The only exception is the last picture frame, which has been crushed and the photo stolen. At this moment, Sister Beech returns with the sugar and Edward asks her what the photos are of. She tells him that it’s a celebration they hold every year. Edward asks what happened to the last one and she tells him that it was stolen the night before.
Edward goes outside and sees Sister Honey chopping wood. He asks her if she’s seen Sister Willow, and is told that Willow just went up to the schoolyard. Sister Honey grabs Edward’s arm as he’s about to leave and asks “When you leave, will you take me with you?” Edward laughs and apologizes because he’s clearly confused. He continues up the hill. He enters the schoolhouse, and sees that every single student is a blonde girl. Nearly every girl looks just like Rowan and several even have twins. He meets the teacher, who’s apparently giving a sex-ed talk to the very young girls. The woman is using simple terms and metaphors to describe it, and Edward laughs heartily. The teacher’s name is Sister Rose and she demands what he’s doing in her classroom. Edward apologizes and tells her that he’s looking for Rowan. The teacher tells him that she’s never seen the girl, but that she’ll pass the photo around. Every girl looks at the photo, but no one recognizes her. Edward notices that every desk is filled with the exception of one. He walks over to the desk, which is slightly dirty. He opens the desk and a large black crow bursts out of the desk. Surprised by the bird, Edward asks Sister Rose whose desk it was and why there was a bird inside, but no one replies. Finally, a little girl tells him that they put the bird in there to see how long it would live. Everyone in the classroom seems perfectly fine with this explanation, except Edward, that is. He shouts, “Now, why would you do such a sick thing?!” He turns to the teacher and demands to know why she let them do this. He asks to see the class roster, but she refuses. He demands to see the roster again and just grabs it off her desk. He scans the roster quickly and sees that Rowan’s name has been crossed off. He knows that the desk was Rowan’s now, and shouts at the class, “You’re all liars!” Then he turns to Sister Rose and says “You’re the biggest liar of them all!” She tells him that they’ll talk outside.
The two head outside and Sister Rose tells Edward that Rowan was burned to death. She tells him that Rowan’s buried at the local church and not to disturb her class anymore. Edward goes to the church, which is clearly decapitating, and he sees a large pile of dirt. Presumably, that’s where Rowan is buried. He heads back to Willows house where they go to Rowan’s room and he sees that it is completely white with only a white bed, a white chair and a white desk. Willow says that the last time she saw Rowan, Rowan was drawing. Edward’s looking at the desk and flips it over and he sees that someone has inscribed “HELP ME” all over the desk. There’s a picture of Rowan, Willow and a large statue. He asks Willow whether she’s ever seen what Rowan draws, and Willow says that she hasn’t. Apparently, Rowan liked to draw and swim. Edward heads back down to the dock where he came from and sees the plane, but not the pilot. Edward sits there on a box for awhile waiting for the pilot because he needs the radio. Edward hears a bumping noise under the dock looks around a little and suddenly he spots a small child trapped under a gate in the water. He jumps off the dock and swims over to her.
Edward wakes up and realizes that it was just a dream. Edward looks down and sees the decomposing body of Rowan. He’s completely freaked out (but we know that he’s just hallucinating). Edward goes back to Willow and asks her who takes the photos in the town. Willow tells him that Doctor Moss does. Edward goes to Dr. Moss’ house and she invites him in. Edward asks Dr. Moss about the missing photo at the café, and she tells him that she’ll take the negatives and make another copy for him. As he’s leaving, he notices a book of rituals on the doctor’s desk. Edward goes outside and hides in a bush until the doctor leaves with two women wearing bee keeper masks. Edward goes inside and flips through the Ritual book. He gets freaked out and wanders through the house finding a room full of fetal babies in mason jars, a creepy operating table and other medical instruments. In the last room of the house he finds Dr. Moss’ dark room, leafing through photos in the desk he finds the picture of Rowan (the one from the lodge) the leaves. Edward is walking around when he suddenly trips and falls onto a beehive. He tries to get away, but the camera pans out and we see that the entire center of the island is shaped like a honeycomb. Edward pulls out a needle to prevent the allergy from taking too much effect on him, but it’s no use. Right before he passes out, he sees Rowan in front of him with bees surrounding her.
When Edward wakes back up, he’s on a bed and Dr. Moss is sitting at his side. He asks the doctor if she used his kit and she tells him that they used the “old-fashioned way”. Edward gets up and retrieves his sweater and heads out. He sees Sister Summersisle, another elderly woman. She tells Edward that some of their beekeepers found him. She introduces herself and apparently she is treated like a god on the island.
Before leaving Edward asks her if he can dig up the grave where everyone says Rowan is buried. That night Edward digs up the grave, when he opens the casket there’s only a burnt doll inside. He hears someone crying from inside the crypt and goes to investigate. After breaking open the lock he goes inside where he finds a small well at the bottom of some stairs reaching into it he pulls out Rowan’s sweater. Edward dives in and searches the water but Rowan is not there. When he swims back up, he sees that someone has locked the gate and that he cannot get out. Edward basically waits it out until morning, when Willow comes and finds him. He explains to Willow everything that he found and Willow accidentally reveals that Rowan is Edward’s daughter too (surprise, surprise).
Edward and Willow head back to her house where he tells her to lock herself in tonight because he has a bad feeling. As Edward is riding downhill on his bike, Sister Rose stops him, but she’s wearing a rather hideous crow mask. She tells him that she’s preparing for a ritual and that Edward can’t leave. She pulls away his bike, but Edward takes out his gun and rides back to the lodge. He heads to his room and grabs his things. As he’s walking back down, he hears Sister Beech talking with another girl about things on the dock.
Edward begins barging into everyone’s homes calling for Rowan, and forces all the young girls to take off their masks. He goes into Sister’s Summersisle’s house, which is huge, and finds rather disturbing images in every single room he goes into. Edward is unable to find Sister Summersisle, but she’s in one of the larger rooms, surrounded by the other girls.
When he returns to the cove he sees that the plane is gone and turning around sees the pilot tying in the driftwood on the shore with his eyes gouged out. He heads back to the lodge, while up in his room he sees Beech and a local woman talking Beech asks the woman if she took care of the harbor problem she says yes before they see Edward at the top of the stairs, when she leaves Edward walks over to Beech who asks if she can do anything for him, he says yes and knocks her out with one punch to the face. Suddenly, Sister Honey attacks him from the back and they fight for awhile until Sister is unconscious. He walks over to the bar and puts on the Bear costume that Beech wasgoing to wear to the ceremony, and follows the locals in a parade being led by Sister Summersisle to a ritual.
They arrive at the grounds and we see Rowan tied to a large tree about to be burnt. Willow looks at Edward and he runs over and saves Rowan. Sister Summersisle turns to the other sisters and says “Girls, get him.” The sisters begin chasing after them and suddenly Rowan breaks free and begins running away. Now Edward is chasing Rowan and the sisters are chasing them both. They run into a clearing and Rowan runs toward Willow. Willow tells Rowan that she did a good job, and Edward is stunned. Sister Summersisle thanks Rowan and Willow and it turns out that Willow is Sister Summersisle’s daughter.
Here is where everything is explained…that everything had been planed from the beginning, you see masks coming off of the other people in the crowd and you see the female cop, and the mother and daughter from the car accident, Summersisle explains that he was carefully chosen to be her granddaughters father because they needed him to return as the Wickerman, the harvest sacrifice. Edward takes out his gun and tells everyone to back up and fires into the crowd, but nothing happens. Willow opens her hand and all of Edward’s bullets fall out of her hand. All the townspeople surround Edward and begin beating him. They break his legs and carry him in a sheet to a giant wooden man. He’s put inside the very top and as he’s being lifted, you can see various animals tied to the man as well. Rowan is given the torch, and despite Edward’s pleads, Rowan sets the wood on fire. The camera scans over the island, and the last we see of Edward is his arm dangling on a ledge.
Words on the screen tell us that it is now a few years later. It’s a bar and a cop is drinking a beer. His friend comes over and they talk for awhile. A few minutes later, two girls come in and the cop and his friend walk over to her. Unbeknownst to the cops, it’s Sister Willow and Sister Honey. They share a few drinks and Sister Honey says to one of the cops, “When you go, will you bring me with you?” The cop laughs, and the movie ends. (We can imply that the cop is the next Wicker Man)
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