Originally Posted by Stige
wicker man '73 , didn't expect it, but when it was explained by the villagers it seemed "of course!"
What makes Wicker Man's ending so great is that it actually IMPROVES subsequent viewings of the film (compared to a lot of "shock endings" which only work once...including the one I voted for!). A lot of people complain that The Wicker Man has "too much singing and dancing", or that "it's not horror, it's a musical" (by the way, it's definitely horror, especially what happens to that cask of ale later in the film...but I digress).
Those complaints may be true the first time you see it, but when you watch it again, you'll see that every action by the islanders is meant to
lure Sgt. Howie to the Wicker Man
, something I think is given away too much in the so-called "director's cut". It's why I prefer the theatrical cut.