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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Sleepy Hollow (1999) - Tim Burton



Tim Burton's take on the old Sleepy Hollow tale is really interesting. He adds his own flair of course. He delves very deeply into the original story by Washington Irving. The casting is usual for Burton. Johnny Depp of course in your lead. Helena Bonham Carter, thrown in for some flavor. The score is done by Danny Elfman. It's literally just the Ichabod Crane story run through the Tim Burton machine. But in a good way.



Sleepy Hollow has a problem with a guy, running around, taking people's heads. Like, a lot of people. The town sends word for assistance and the nervous Constable Ichabod Crane reports. He starts to unravel clues that take him down an incredibly strange path. With the Horseman still murdering patrons, Crane tries finding who's next before they lose their head. 

I've always been a big fan of the Disney cartoon, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad. This movie is a far cry from Bing Crosby and quaint animations. They are sacrificed for a badass Christopher Walken, with teeth filed down to points. And copious amounts of gore waiting to squirt. Trees gnarled and mangled with body parts and blood as sap. Dark magic, adultery, and murder are a few elements added that make this really intriguing. 



When are making an R rated movie and you have a villain like the Headless Horseman, you sort of have an obligation to deliver some good decapitations. This movie does it in spades. You also get a good deal of surgical type gore. A running gag has Johnny Depp on the receiving end of some splatters. It's gory and quite comical. A good mix.

Aside from the gore this movie is beautiful. It is exquisitely shot and does a great job playing with tones and colors. It really helps portray the emotions in the scenes. Most of which are pretty depressing. Everything from the costumes to the sets make you feel like your right in the movie. They are really well done. 


While this movie is rife with Burton cliches, they tend to work. Danny Elfman's score is a thing of beauty. The acting is top notch and the costumes are amazing. You can tell that they took their time with the details. I was weary of this, as I usually am with Tim Burton nowadays. However, it was great. I loved it. I saw it in the theater and loved it just as much then as I did today. 

Director: Tim Burton
Style: Classic Retelling - Headless Horseman
Country: USA

Did ya know...

Director Tim Burton included scenes in homage to Disney's animated version of the Sleepy Hollow tale (featured in The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949)). These include the scene in which Ichabod Crane crosses the covered bridge and hears the frogs underneath croaking "Ichabod" and "Headless Horseman," the following chase sequence where Ichabod is run down and unhorsed, apparently by the Horseman, and the moment in the climactic chase scene in which Ichabod runs into a tree limb, and, thrown through the air, ends up landing on the Horseman's horse backwards.
Washington Irving claimed that Ichabod Crane and Katrina Van Tassel were real people.

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