Sleepy Hollow (1999)

Heads will roll

New York detective Ichabod Crane is sent to Sleepy Hollow to investigate a series of mysterious deaths in which the victims are found beheaded. But the locals believe the culprit to be none other than the ghost of the legendary Headless Horseman.

et us get this over with right away. I do not think Johnny Depp was the right person for playing Ichabod Crane. Maybe I am too influenced by seeing him in Pirates of The Caribbean but I just do not think he was the right person for this role. He really did not work for me. He is to whimsical and gesticulating to be taken seriously as a scientifically inclined crime investigator as far as I am concerned.
Too bad since the story itself and the movie was quite promising. As is often the case with Tim Burton’s work the movie has quite dark tone which I quite like. The various scruffy and suspicious characters that Ichabod meets right away as he enters the village inn fits right into the eerie atmosphere.
Unfortunately Ichabod’s inclination for science clashes with the rest of the story which is undoubtedly supernatural. It makes the movie not really have a distinct direction but instead waddle with one foot in each camp. I would have preferred if the movie either had gone all science and in the end Ichabod had exposed an evil but perfectly human adversary by scientific means or if it had gone all supernatural and Ichabod was an adept at exposing (exorcising) supernatural beings rather than a scientist.
Having said that, the movie was still a decent enough evening flick and fairly enjoyable. The footage and scenery are well done as one would expect from Tim Burton. It is not exactly a special effects loaded movie but what is there is fairly okay, at least for a movie from 1999.

Paramount, Mandalay Pictures, American Zoetrope, Tim Burton Productions, Karol Film Productions by Tim Burton, Washington Irving, Kevin Yagher, Andrew Kevin Walker.
Stars: Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Miranda Richardson, Michael Gambon.

Genres: Fantasy, Horror, Mystery

Keywords: small town 19th century headless horseman

11/19/1999

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