“Tell me, do you believe in magic?”
— Sharon Tate, giving the creepiest delivery of this line in history.
Hammer Studios turned out a few predecessor films before making The Wicker Man, which has an understanding of its premise the earlier versions do not, and a willingness to push its implications. Hammer was not alone; Filmways Productions and MGM released Eye of the Devil in 1966, an occult thriller which has more than a little in common with The Wicker Man. It’s not the best of the genre, but it gives us David Niven in an atypical role, Donald Pleasance in one of his first horror appearances, and Sharon Tate in her debut.