“All of [the] power is lying in the last third of the movie, and you’re slowly ratcheting up the tension along the way,” Wicker Man director-writer Neil LaBute has told Coming Soon’s Edward Douglas. “You have to be very patient and say that I’m making a movie that people can watch and enjoy, but it’s not something that’s going to keep rattling the cage every few minutes. It’s just something that’s constantly twisting, twisting itself so that you’re very caught up in it.
“It’s knowing the genre, knowing how you want to approach that and how you want to surprise with it. You set up situations that look like very familiar ones where audiences are like, ‘I know what’s going to happen.’ You’re going to get close to that girl and then her eyes are going to open to try to spook me, and when that doesn’t happen, you go, ‘Now, why did they do that?’ Because you’re always trying to reward expectations and reward the audience a bit later with something. I tried to know that genre well, and then play against it a bit as well.”