(This review assumes you are already familiar with the original The Wicker Man.)
Had I rented this based solely on the Netflix summary that reads "Christopher Lee reprises his role as the eerie Lord Summerisle from 1973's Brit-horror hit The Wicker Man", then I would almost certainly have punched a hole through my wall when the ending credits rolled. The description isn't technically a lie but devoted fans of the original would probably appreciate fair warning that Christopher Lee only appears in the film for 30 goddamn seconds. Fortunately I researched this in advance (a rare occasion) and Catfreeek prepared me amply for disappointment. Thus I held little to no expectations.
Bubbly, bright-eyed, born again Beth and her good ol'Texan boyfriend Steve are sent on a mission to Scotland to convert as many heathens as possible. Beth was once a successful pop idol who sang terrible country songs, but after finding God she changed her sinful ways and focused on singing terrible gospel songs instead. Steve wears a cowboy hat. From the get-go I looked forward to their fiery deaths with gleeful anticipation.
After Glasgow greets them with scorn and derision, the two move on to an isolated village in the Scottish lowlands called Tressock. The village welcomes them into their community. Even though they worship an obscure Celt goddess named Sulis, they embrace Beth's religious sermons with (snickering) open minds. Tressock is in the midst of a major crisis where the women suffer from infertility. Instead of questioning the neighboring nuclear power plant, they attribute their problems to a cursed river. Meanwhile Steve proves that he is not nearly the chaste figurehead of the Christian church that Sgt. Howie was, as he literally and figuratively loses his chastity ring to the local seductress. Beth is honored when the townsfolk select her for the title of "queen" in their annual May Day celebration (tee hee) while Steve earns the unflattering role of "the laddie". Even if you think you know where all of this is headed you should still prepare yourself for the unexpected, as well as mild disappointment.
The Wicker Tree features terrible music, annoying characters, and a story that adds little to the original and yet it's still a bazillion times better than that Nicholas Cage crapfest. Still, I had no choice but to burn the Netflix envelope from whence it came.