Sleepy Hollow (1999)

sleepy hollow 2

Director : Tim Burton
Starring: Johnny Depp, Christopher Walken,  Christina Ricci, Michael Gambon, Christopher Lee Miranda Richardson. USA. 1h 45m

The alluring Johnny Depp returns to the big screen under the gentle hand of his best friend Tim Burton in the timeless epic,  Sleepy Hollow,  Washington Irving’s all  American gothic mystery thriller romance,  and with it’s dark and twisted back story it’s one of the prime suspects of a classic novel that would  inspire Tim Burton to direct again and he manages to give it his stereotypical darkly tinted overhaul, conjuring up massively creepy action scenes for his favourite leading man despite his cheerful disposition and constant fainting, he is strangely the man for the job. Depp plays Ichabod Crane a police officer sent by the New York authorities, in this case by Christopher Lee in the late 18th century to investigate a supernatural crime wave in a small town almost lost within a forest called Sleepy Hollow, one of the obvious twists with this retelling of the story is the modern FBI approach that Crane has towards investigating the series of beheadings like Takeshi Kaneshiro in Dragon (2013) but without the CSI graphics.

The Sleepy Hollow residences are overlooked by the wealthy farmer Baltus Van Tassell (Michael Gambon) who’s daughter is a golden haired princess played by our favourite Wednesday Addams Christina Ricci Ichabod takes an instant liking to for her and plays a very interesting detective he’s very precise, fasticious,  scientific and insists on correct reasoning and  cleanliness.  He’s also constantly afraid of everything including his own shadow he is constantly running around and running from everything investigating corpses and crime scenes surrounded by a bizarre medical implements and steampunk style accessories he does a range of funny face pulling that any carry on performance would have been proud to include.

Tim Burton’s trademark direction alongside Ken Court art direction gives us a gloomy hyper real landscape set in a permanent  nightmarish wonderland, and we will never to forget that there is a maniac chopping off heads off,  the same actions of the headless horseman ,  gallop gallop, chop, SPURT is repeated again and again and again.  There are some very interesting characters and plot twists throughout the movie which also helps introduce Miranda Richardson’s character and her energetic and crazy performance really does add some flavour to a film permanently set in a dusky twilight, and some point get so boring it starts to mimic the sparkly vampire drama.

Christopher Walken appears and as one of the most impressive and truly savage headless horseman characters I’ve ever seen alongside typical B movie actor Casper van Dien who manages to actually pull off a very convincing tough guy role in this camp gothic extravaganza which won’t scare but will entertain if only just seen Johnny Depp’s constantly fainting performance as Ichabod Crane.




Rating 5/10

R Headless Horseman (1922), Edward Scissorhands (1990), Lone Ranger (2013), The Company of Wolves (1984), Dragon (20130
L – Gothic Fairytales
5s –  Johnny Depp, Christopher Walken,  Christina Ricci, Michael Gambon, Christopher Lee Miranda Richardson
Vs   -Ichabod Crane vs – Xu Bai‑jiu
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