“You wouldn’t want to be here on May Day,” a character cautions Edward Woodward’s rigidly Christian, notably prudish Sergeant Howie in folk-horror classic The Wicker Man. After he travels to the isolated Summerisle to investigate reports of a missing child, he’s shocked—shocked!—to discover a community steeped in pagan beliefs.
Famously, it doesn’t end well for him. But for the rest of us, the movie contains a cornucopia of wisdom worth keeping in mind as we enter the exact time of year in which the 1973 film is set. Here are our favorite life lessons from Robin Hardy’s film—plus one from the wonderfully terrible 2006 Nicolas Cage remake, for good measure.