Projections - Movie Reviews

Sleepy Hollow

Director Tim Burton brings his own unique brand of the macabre to Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

The once benign story of the headless horseman who scares meek schoolteacher Ichabod Crane, his love interest Katrina and rival Brom Bones, goes through a number of changes.  Most of which is R rated murderous fun.

The setting is still a small town in upstate New York in the late 1790's, but Johnny Depp's Crane is now a constable sent to investigate a number of grisly beheadings by a headless horseman.  He brings a bag full of forensic contraptions, but the murders continue and he doesn't have a clue.

Christina Ricci plays wide-eyed Katrina.  The townspeople are being beheaded one by one, but she bravely offers the over-whelmed Crane her help.

Between fainting spells, Crane has the decapitated bodies dug up and brought to the morgue for his inspection.  A sprinkling of chemicals, a closer look at the bloody neck with a magnifying glass and yep--the victim died from a beheading!

The horseman (played by a devilish Christopher Walken) is beheaded himself and his ghost roams the countryside brandishing a huge sword, hell bent on revenge.  Fleeing victims can't outrun him, and even a child isn't spared.

Having a killer descending on you in the fog, while the sound of horse hooves get louder and louder as he comes nearer is very frightening.  Burton likes the scene so much, he uses it over and over again.  Even so, it doesn't lose its scare value.

This is Depp's third outing with the Director (Edward Scissorhands and Ed Wood) and he is at ease with this bumbling, likable character.  He's quite good with the unpredictable humor that pops up from time to time.

This is a gorgeous looking film.  From the stone mansion with dark wood interior to the countryside blanketed in fog, everything is perfect for a gothic horror.

Sleepy Hollow is an entertaining adult retelling of a classic, as only the inimitable Burton can do.

It is rated R for violence and gore.

Sleepy Hollow

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