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Sleepy Hollow (1999)

DVD Cover (Paramount)
Genres:
Costume Horror, Detective Film, Gothic Film, Horror
Director:
Tim Burton Tim Burton
Starring:
Johnny Depp Johnny Depp
Christina Ricci Christina Ricci
Miranda Richardson Miranda Richardson
Michael Gambon Michael Gambon
Casper Van Dien Casper Van Dien

7.2 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: June 02, 2004
We've all heard the story of The Headless Horseman that terrorized the little town of Sleepy Hollow, but never quite like this telling of it. Ichabod Crane is a detective who disagrees with the methods of torture currently used as punishment in his hometown of New York, and is quite open about his thoughts about needing to get with the times with the local judge. The judge decides to put ol' Ichabod and his methods to the test, and sends him to the town of Sleepy Hollow to investigate a series of murders that are going on there. Upon arrival, Ichabod is informed of the legend of The Headless Horseman, and that this is the person who is doing the murdering. Apparently, the Horseman was one of a group of German soldiers sent to America by England to keep tabs on everybody, but this particular guy was quite cruel and murdered a bunch of people. Some local soldiers killed him off and decapitated him with his own sword, and now, twenty years later, his ghost is getting revenge on the town that killed him. Ichabod will have none of this, as he is a man of reason and logic, so he sets out to prove that the murderer is a living human, not some ghost back from the grave. As he investigates the happenings, he starts to find that the legend may be quite true......

Another good film from Tim Burton, though it doesn't quite hold up to his other offerings. That genius use of color in scenes that has become a staple in Burton's films is here as well, and done up to perfection; however, parts of the storyline just dragged, and some parts were quite confusing. For example, some of the scenes where Ichabod would figure out where to go next in order to solve the mystery were quite out there and illogical; there's no way he could have narrowed things down the way he did, and the way they tried to explain it just made it even worse. Had some of those gaping holes in the storyline been filled in a bit better, things would have worked out a lot better. On the plus side of things, the storyline was heavily altered from the original novel, and this actually turned out to be a good thing. The ending was completely rewritten into something much more entertaining, and many key points to the story were also changed up; so if you've read the original story that this is based on, you'll still find quite a lot of surprises throughout the film.

There was a shocking amount of gore in here for a Tim Burton film. I obviously knew there was going to be some, what with the whole decapitation of the victims story, but the amount shown was quite surprising. The blood wasn't something to rival "Dead Alive" or anything, but it was still used freely throughout the movie. However, I think that the blood used in some of the scenes was a bit too bright on the red side, so it looked a bit lame and almost comical; but the decapitations and the bodies themselves came out looking very good.

Overall, I'd say this is worth a rental if you enjoyed the original story, or just like some toned-down Hollywood ghost films. 7/10.
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StandinOnAnOverpass #1: StandinOnAnOverpass - added 08/15/2004, 08:27 PM
Rent it.
smilesallround #2: smilesallround - added 09/08/2004, 11:03 PM
this is my all time favourite Johnny Depp movie he's such a ood actor and this is deffenetly shown in this film!
Stary_Night_sky #3: Stary_Night_sky - added 09/25/2004, 10:23 PM
Good movie..but it's not something you would want to watch over and over. Rent it. Johnny Depp is amazing (as always), so the acting isn't really in question. The story line isn't too fabulous though.
Symx #4: Symx - added 02/04/2005, 07:07 PM
I recommend owning this movie. It does a great job of telling the story of sleepy hollow, and was much better than I expected. I loved the gore in here, especially when he was chopping the tree and blood was spewing out everywhere.
blasphemous girl #5: blasphemous girl - added 04/16/2005, 12:00 AM
Johnny Depp.. gorgeous as always. this movie tells the story of sleepy hollow very well. i don't own this movie.. but wish i did.
Ginose #6: Ginose - added 09/09/2005, 05:49 PM
Preety good... it's not really scary though... and I really don't have a true atachment to it... but oh well... people like what they like. (And apparently that's Johnny Depp, LOL)
Dametria #7: Dametria - added 04/24/2007, 11:08 AM
Nothing really scary to this movie but the imagery is STUNNING! I bought it just to watch the pretty pictures lol
Crispy #8: Crispy - added 10/28/2007, 12:50 AM
They should do Red Riding Hood in this style.
Ginose #9: Ginose - added 10/28/2007, 12:59 AM
Agreed. They should also make the actress to play Red Riding Hood 19 years-old, nubile and scantally clad... and then get Titno Brass to direct it...

...if they had made it a few years back, I would have gone with Walerian Borowczyk... but we work with what we have.
Crispy #10: Crispy - added 10/28/2007, 01:04 AM
I didn't say turn it into an acid trip of a porn flick. I mean, that'd be awesome and I'd pick it up real quick and in a hurry, but what say that's a second, unrelated project.
Ginose #11: Ginose - added 10/28/2007, 01:13 AM
...well you didn't specify either...
And, face it, that's arthouse movie of the decade, right there.
Tristan #12: Tristan - added 10/28/2007, 01:14 AM
They did do Little Red Riding Hood like this. It's called The Company of Wolves, and it's on here.
Crispy #13: Crispy - added 10/28/2007, 01:26 AM
Sweet! Thanks for the heads up man, that's getting pushed right up to the front of the queue.
MerrysMiko #14: MerrysMiko - added 07/30/2008, 11:10 PM
This film illustrates absolutely everything that I love about my Holy Trinity of filmmaking. If it's directed by Tim Burton, stars Johnny Depp, and is scored by Danny Elfman, I'm guaranteed to love it. I have yet to see a movie these men have put out that I do not like. Sleepy Hollow is definitely my favorite of the bunch, with the wonderful mood-color scenes, blood like red sealing wax, beautifully produced beheadings (and bisecting, in one case), and just a lovely creepy feeling. Also, this film features Miranda Richardson as the wickedest stepmother you will EVER see. When put into a fairy-tale-type role with elaorate hairdos and flowing gowns, this woman can do no wrong. I have loved her as Mrs. Van Tassel, Queen Maab ("Merlin"), and even in an obscure little production of "Snow White" where she played the evil Queen. And who could fail to love Christopher freaking Walken as the Headless Horseman! (I have a banner somewhere or other of the Horseman shouting in battle with the caption, "I said MORE COWBELL!") I love love LOVE this movie and watch it faithfully with several girlfriends, lots of popcorn, and plenty of spiked cider every Hallowe'en. 10/10
johannesfaust #15: johannesfaust - added 02/27/2009, 07:59 PM
good movie, Tim Burton knows how to create a dark atmosphere in a movie...8/10
Tristan #16: Tristan - added 08/01/2009, 01:47 AM
Just watched this for the first time since the VHS days. Still a great little film that holds up well.

8.5/10
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