Great movie. Great acting. But apparently misinterpeted. The wicker man was not a celebratiin but a sacrifice, a simple sacrifice of an enemy to please war gods so they would not interfer in the growth of the community. Remember, outsiders are not welcome in most areas yet they are there.
And they can serve valid duties to groups with or without willingness to serve.
The wickerman did follow the pattern of sixites and seventies fantasy occult novels closely and the ‘big’ scenes and ‘big’ orchestras were avoided. That made it doubly appeally.
So in the suspenseful finale where our hero detective gets his legs shattered and is burned to death in the wicker man you are at the edge of your seat feeling his pain and hanging on to your balls hoping youll never end up in the same circumstance. And thats a part of a good movie!