The Wicker Tree (2011) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • Charmed by the residents of Tressock, Scotland, two young missionaries accept the invitation to participate in a local festival, fully unaware of the consequences of their decision.

  • Young Christians Beth and Steve, a gospel singer and her cowboy boyfriend, leave Texas to preach door-to-door in Scotland . When, after initial abuse, they are welcomed with joy and elation to Tressock, the border fiefdom of Sir Lachlan Morrison, they assume their hosts simply want to hear more about Jesus. How innocent and wrong they are.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • We begin in Texas listening to a radio show introducing and playing a song by Beth Boothby, cut to blonde girl (Beth) in the back of a limo being driven somewhere. The limo stops to pick up a guy (Steve) waiting by a country roadside, they embrace and kiss. Soon the couple arrive at a small church where fans are waiting to greet the singer, who we then see putting on a small christian rock performance. The pastor explains that the couple are going to Scotland for two years to spread the word of Christ. The congregation cheers and claps as they are wished God Speed and when they get back they are to be married.

    We are then taken to Scotland where we see people making general preparations, as we follow the camera we here the sound of machinery getting louder until the camera stops at a door. Here we can see the outline of a man and a sudden big gush of blood splatters against the window. The man curses and yells and we see he is in some sort of butchering room. Beth amd Steve have arrived and are now being greeted by a reverend. A car pulls up and out steps Sir Lachlan Morrison and his wife Delia, who are the ones that have invited Steve & Beth to stay. After exchanging greetings Beth & Steve show them their matching silver rings which symbolise their vow of chastity to each other. As we go into the church Sir Lachlan & Delia talk amongst themselves about how perfect Beth is. Beth begins to sing to the congregation as Delia goes to speak with Steve, she removes his cowboy hat explaining that hats in church are taboo.

    We then go to their hotel where Beth and Steve are in her room making out, Steve tries to go further and Beth refuses, when a raunchy pop video comes showing Beth before she was 'born again'. Beth is upset and becomes agitated when she can't turn the TV off. She does, Steve goes to leave when the telephone rings. It is Delia calling to check on them, Steve leaves before she finishes the conversation. The next day we see Beth and Steve traipsing door to door trying to hand out pamphlets - all doors are slammed in their face. Down-hearted, then Delia shows up and invites them to her village, Beth is hesitant but they agree. In the car Delia questions Beth and Steve about their 'born again' views. They pass Tressock Nuclear Power station where they meet Sir Lachlan and travel on to the village. A lady rides up on a horse, they stop & have a brief chat about a special feast on Sunday and the horse. Villages wait slightly out of sight as they enter the village and drive through. They stop and we are introduced to Jack and his pet bird, he talks jibberish to them and the bird says Nevermore. Steve is puzzled, it is clear that Beth has been whisked off and Sir Lachlan explains that they will be spilt up with Beth staying at the manor and Steve staying in a tavern. He is introduced to the owner and off he goes.

    Lolly, who we now know was the horse rider, and a policeman go into his station/ house and begin to flirt & undress. A car pulls up at a large manor house and out steps Sir Lachlan & Beth. Back to Steve at pub, he is talking with Jack & some other locals. Declines to play cards as he doesn't gamble, but reads the cars and begins to preach something to do with God about every card he picks out. Someone begins to sing and that merges with a females singing same song as Beth walks into the room and meets some girls sewing the May Queen dress, Beth is asked if she would like to see it & try it on, she does, they sing and she is asked if she would be their May Queen.

    We then cut to Lolly & the policeman having sex & talking. Then we are back at the tavern where a middle age lady is playing piano & singing, Steve goes upstairs to bed and is woken later by a Raven on window sill, he jumps and is woken by Sir Lachlan in his Porsche outside inviting Steve to take his horse Prince for a ride to explore. He does and very soon comes across Lolly in the river naked, he stops, they chat, Lolly invites him into the water - after being a little hesistant, he does, they talk some more and Lolly mentioned that Beth is going to be asked to be May Queen and they want him to be the Laddie, she explains what that means becoming more suggestive and then they have sex despite his vow to be celibate until marriage. Afterwards they talk on the bank of the river, He gets up, dressed and realises he has lost his silver ring in the water.

    Then we see Sir Lachlan and some others in a meeting about living near their Nuclear Power Station this continues outside in car where it is hinted at a Nuclear accident infiltrating the water and all are now infertile, so no babies. Beth & Steve are in the church preaching to Sir Lachlan and the villagers, Beth begins to sing as Steve passes out pamphlets as the song carries on the villagers begin to join in. Outside is a buffet spread where we see Jack and his bird (Raven), Lolly comes up to him and they chat, she then goes to the church window watching Steve as he walks through the villagers. After this they are taken across the river in a boat to a lodge, and left alone. Steve doesn't talk, Beth becomes concerned and asks whats wrong. He basically says that he will be there for the May Queen crowning the next day, but he is leaving after and returning to Texas as he is a sinner. He goes off with Sir Lachlan to practice what to do next day as Laddie, Sir Lachlan is walking through the woods with Steve telling him what to do, not to listen to anything anyone says and get to a castle ruin where there is a throne he must sit on and wait for everyone else to arrive. Beth is upset at the lodge and begins to listen to her old raunchier song, but then slams it off and regains composure. Back at the tavern Steve is asked for his autogragh by a young boy, Steve mentions there are no other children around and asks why, however the Landlord comes out and tells the boy to get off home and stop bothering Steve. At the Manor Beth is dressed up in a glamourous formal evening dress as tells Delia she's mad with Steve and plans to enjoy herself. Then montage of Steve looking sorry for himself and Beth at the dinner party dancing with someone in a kilt. Then the evening party are singing around the piano, later on Beth is ready for bed in her room saying her prayers, there is a knock at the door and it is the butler (Beame) bringing her some hot milk. There is a cat in her room which Beame tries to chase out but Beth insists it stays. Beth goes to sleep and the cat drinks & knocks over milk. Then cut to the policeman & Lolly having sex again, Jack and another villager stand outside laughing at the noise and we cut to an ambulance rushing off. The next morning the cat is dead on the floor when Delia enters, Beth is asleep. Delia picks up the cat and takes it downstairs to Lachlan and shows him the dead cat. Beame is told to deal with Beth after breaksfast and get her ready. Delia & Lachlan talk about their religious beliefs, he looks at a portait on the wall and we are shown a flashback of him and his Grandfather (Christopher Lee) by the river talking about the Laddie and fate. Delia and Lachlan finish talking and the hunt for the Laddie begins. Beame (wearing traditional kilt) is climbing the stairs carrying a needle, he enters Beths room, but she wakes up as he approaches, she see the needle and struggles picking up some of the broken glass and stabbing in his testicles, he yells and she runs away knocking over the cook, through the house and outside. The hunt continues while Beame is having his injury seen to by the cook and they discuss where she'd go. The hunt is still going and Steve is making good headway until his stirrup breaks (having been cut) making him fall from the horse. He gets up and begins to ride away, but Lolly has caught up and is calling to him. We see Beth running down a deserted road where she comes across Jack. She goes into his house and tries to use the phone but he is too incoherrent to help her. Suddenly Beame walks in, grabs her and takes her away. Lolly tels Steve it's a trap and to follow her, but he thinks it's just a so he ignores her. Steve arrives at the Castle just as the others are catching up. Beth is laid out face down, unconcious and naked on the kitchen table being brushed with oil by Cook. Beame, the cook and another villager (Mary?) talk amongst themselves about Beth and why she is being brushed in oil as the conversation carries on it is apparent that Sir Lachlan intends to eat her raw. Cook says she is sedated as Lachlan like them to be fresh as possible, then Beame gets upset as somebody has been messing with his collection of May Queen eyes. Steve is just getting to the castle, and Beth is being put in a store room still unconcious on a table. She begins to wake up and looks around. In the meantime Lanchlan and the other villagers enter the Castle where Steve is sitting on the throne as he was told. Steve is cocky at first, but starts to lose his bravado as the villagers surround the throne. As this is going on Beth puts on the May Queen dress and explores her surroundings. Lachlan begins to talk as the villagers start to strip off. Beth sees what appears to be statues of previous May Queens, but it starts to become apparent to her that they are not what they seem and she calls out. Lachlan and the villagers start to sing as the continue to strip in front of a confused Steve who doesn't seem to realise what is going on, suddenly realisation dawns as Lachlan begins to give praise to the Sun as the villagers descend. It is too late as the villagers grab Steve and begin to eat him alive, Lolly is outside sobbing and we see the villagers dancing and feasting in praise.

    As Beth looks at the statues, the Cook is listening to the radio and rather drunk, you can hear Beth calling and banging to be let out. Delia is seen after bathing Steves blood off and hears Beth yelling. Beth touches a statue and the outside cracks away revealing a skeletal hand underneath, she runs for a door that leads her outside, it's locked but she manages to escape through a window. She runs and bumps into Lolly, who tells her Steve is dead, Beth can't beleive it and Lolly tries to get her to go away with her she refuses even though Lolly makes it clear to her that she will be killed. Beth walks on up a hill to where the Wicker Tree stands, Lachlan is singing as the villagers dance around in praise. Beth walks through them and them seem not to see her and suddenly Lachlan is made aware that the Queen is there, he looks surprised but begins to explain when she asks about Steve. She asks Danny (a villager) who confirms he is dead, very quickly as Lachlan continues to talk Beth shoves him into the Wicker Tree where he burns alive. She tells the villagers to sing, they join in and then disperse back to the village. Beth is left alone and trying to find a way out of the village when she comes across the little boy who offers to lead to the next village. As they walk, the villagers start to appear behind her. She is suddenly grabbed by them. Lolly gives birth to a baby, they proclaim as their little cowboy.

    The end shot is of Beth in full May Queen regalia - despite her efforts she has suffered the same fate as the other May Queens before her.

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