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Sleepy Hollow Starring Johnny Depp & Christina Ricci
Johnny plays the honorable Ichabad Crane, In this depiction he is not a school teacher but a sort of 18th century detective, committed to the use of science and logic. He is sent to Sleepy Hollow to investigate a series of mysterious murders which is found to be attributed to the Headless Horseman, the ghost of a bloodthirsty Hessian soldier, who steals the heads of his victims because his own was stolen from his grave.
Crane insists that the murderer cannot be supernatural, until he sees it himself. Still, he analyzes the evidence to find the secrets that link the victims together and the human force driving the Headless Horseman, Johnny Depp plays the scared scientist very well and his preformance with the more gory side of the film borders on funny as well as disturbing.
The heavy underlying themes of this film are science verses supernatural & appearance verses reality as crane himself must overcome his own past to uncover the true villain, which was a complete surprise yet not at the same time.
Once again Tim Burton did an amazing job and past Johnny Depp, I found christina Ricci as always enchanting, I absolutely adore this film, and the special effect's along with the plot and acting make this film a solid 10/10.
But not for younger viewers as this is quite a gory movie with many headless corpses and as always the dark feel of tim burton is quite nightmareish, also contains a non-explicit sex scene.
I highly recommend this film for anyone over the age of 16 if they haven't already seen it as Tim Burton is a genius!
I was surprised by how old this film is now as it was made just over 12 years ago (makes me feel old too!). It's a bit of a classic and one that Depp lovers will probably appreciate; having watched it again more recently I remembered why I liked it at the time and that it manages to retain its classic appeal.
Sleepy Hollow would probably fall within the horror genre, loosely based on a 1820s story entitled 'The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow'. It's directed by Tim Burton, which immediately draws attention because he's renowned for doing quirky and ingenious flicks that stay in your mind and make a mark in film history. Sleepy Hollow introduces us to Ichabod Crane (Johnny Depp), a policeman from New York who is sent on an investigation in a place called Sleepy Hollow. This is pretty much a period horror as it's based in 1799, so expect a flash back to older styles of living. The call has come in that there's been a spate of murders within this small settlement, so it's quite a daunting challenge ahead of this young man, more so when he talks to the town council. He's told that three victims have been found headless, and furthermore that the headless horseman, a ghost, was the head thief. Knowing how absurd this sounds, Ichabod isn't too willing to go along with such suggestions and instead thinks there must be another explanation.
Unfortunately for Crane, he starts to learn more about this apparent headless horseman, who seems to be a ghost of a Hessian during the revolutionary war, sent by the British only to be caught and decapitated with his own sword. It's not until Crane discovers the ghost for himself, in the midst of a murder nonetheless, that he starts to give in to the ghost story.
During his investigations, Crane begins to get close to a wealthy farmer's daughter, Katrina Von Tassel (Christina Ricci). It's only when he learns that the headless horseman may be somehow linked to her father, Balthus (Michael Gambon), that Crane worries just how far in over his head he has got.
This is a ghost story, and normally I'm not one for them because they can be too cliché and predictable to be thrilling. Sleepy Hollow, however, takes a different slant on the ghostly horror genre by making it an entertaining gothic style affair. It's quite artistically done, with scenery and direction giving the film an overall good quality feel. It made it more enjoyable having pretty things to look at and having it feel like it flowed seamlessly, with expertise put in to each aspect of the film.
The cast is strong, with others including Miranda Richardson (Lady Van Tassel), Christopher Walken (as the Hessian horseman ghostie) and Christopher Lee also. It's a list of recognisable names and faces which gives this film its Hollywood appeal and makes it stand out. Thankfully, each character was played well and so it didn't appear like a try-hard film that roped in as many 'celebrities' as it could to make people pay for a cinema ticket just to see them. The characters were, when intended to be, lovable, and I ended up being drawn to keep watching them, especially Depp ;)
Most people would probably agree that the show belonged to Depp, who brought life and vitality to the dark romp. He's got the attitude to kick anything up a gear and make it entertaining and gripping to watch. He also helped with the slight dark-comic edge to the film, which sets it apart from other ghost horrors.
This film also packs in its fair share of action, especially when the headless horseman is around, with axes swing and heads flying. Whilst this kept the tempo up and made it exciting to watch, it could have potentially been at the expense of greater character and premise development. This would be its flaw, if any; after watching it more recently I can see that it is a little 'hollow' in some of these aspects. Having said that, it's quite straight forward and made for easy viewing partly because of the lack of depth. It focused instead on artistic elements, gothicesque scenery and depiction, and a strong cast.
Overall, I would recommend this, especially for Depp or Burton fans. This is a fun, horror romp-style ghost film with a difference; a strong cast, a quirky edge and some great artistic direction makes this a worth-watching classic.
1999 101 minutes
RRP £15.99 but selling on Amazon for £3.98
Sleepy Hollow is a 1999 film directed by Tim Burton and based on the Washington Irving story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. In 1799, a series of puzzling and apparently supernatural murders have plagued the upstate New York village of Sleepy Hollow. All the victims have been decapitated and the locals speak of a headless horseman from hell who descends on the mist shrouded village with his trusty sword. Back in New York, foppish Police Constable Ichabod Crane (Johnny Depp) is summoned by The Burgomaster (Christopher Lee). Crane has become a nuisance with his new fangled theories on a more scientific approach to solving crime (and his various inventions) and the powers that be have decided on a way to simultaneously get him out of their hair and put him to the test. 'There is a town, two days journey to the north in the Hudson Highlands. It is a place called Sleepy Hollow. An isolated farming community, mainly Dutch. Three persons have been murdered there, all within a fortnight. Each one found with the head lopped off. Clean as dandelion heads, apparently. You will take these experimentations of yours to Sleepy Hollow, and there you will detect the murderer. Bring him here to face our good justice. Will you do this?' Crane accepts the challenge and sets off for the eerie and isolated village of Sleepy Hollow with his bag of home made crime solving contraptions. He firmly believes the true culprit of these macabre crimes is a flesh and blood run of the mill murderer and not some spectral horseman. He may be in for a big surprise...
It isn't entirely successful but Sleepy Hollow is an enjoyable gothic romp and plays like a big budget Hammer Horror film (presumably Hammer were a big influence here on the art direction of the film). I really like the atmosphere generated by Burton early on - the opening scene with Martin Landau as a carriage bound victim of the Horseman is excellent - and he's at his best when he creates anticipation for the Horseman's arrival. There is a well staged scene where Crane and Magistrate Philipse (Richard Griffiths) are outside in a lonely field and the Constable is about to get his first glimpse of the Horseman. The skies are dark and grey, lightning flashes in the gloom, a scarecrow spins on its axis. It's great stuff and heightened by Crane's indignant attitude to the swirling gusts of wind and the Magistrate's growing unease. 'How often do I have to tell you? There is no Horseman, never was a Horseman, and never will be a Horseman!' I think these types of scenes are generally the film at its best. The Horseman (played by Christopher Walken in fright wig and razor sharp teeth) is brought to life in an arresting fashion, especially in some of the riding scenes, but I feel on the whole he should have been a slightly more enigmatic and shadowy presence at times. There is a rather overlong sequence where he is at large in the village with an axe fighting the wooden Casper Van Dien and it all becomes a trifle tiresome and generic.
Sleepy Hollow definitely gains a boost from the talented cast and Burton has assembled an impressive roster of British actors in supporting roles. I believe the film was shot in Blighty too by the way too. Michael Gambon is excellent as Baltus Van Tassel, the leader of the village and the wealthy family that Crane boards with. Ian McDiarmid (as the town doctor) and the previously mentioned Richard Griffiths are very good too and there is a small but welcome role for the late Michael Gough as Notary Hardenbrook, the local banker. Gough of course played Alfred in Burton's two Batman films and it was nice to see him onscreen again. Incidentally, Burton only made Sleepy Hollow because his long planned Nicholas Cage Superman film became mired in development hell. I think that was probably for the best to be honest! Miranda Richardson is well cast as Lady Van Tassel and has a pivotal role in the film. She's not Blackadder II bonkers but she does get the opportunity to chew some scenery now and again. She has a good old nibble, put it that way. Christina Ricci takes the role of Katrina Van Tassel, Crane's love interest and the heir to the family fortune and works relatively well with Johnny Depp. I like the fact that Ricci is not a conventional leading woman (it makes her more interesting) but she does sometimes look like a 12 year old pretending to be an adult in the film.
The film certainly though belongs to Johnny Depp. I think he's at his best in these types of roles. His Crane is a more clumsy and human Sherlock Holmes. He's prudish and uptight but finds himself in all manner of strange situations and Depp seems to be enjoying himself a great deal. His mannered voice has an anachronistic quality that is fun here (I don't think he works nearly as well if cast in contemporary 'straight' films) and the spooky fog enveloped atmosphere of this eccentric village full of secrets and mysteries just seems like a perfect place for a Johnny Depp character to be. I would personally much rather see Depp play Ichabod Crane again than ever have to sit through another Pirates of the Caribbean film. It is just enjoyable to solve this mystery in the presence of Depp's Crane and I love some of the lines he has ("Villainy wears many masks, none so dangerous as virtue!"). I particularly like a scene with a spinning toy Crane has - just a simple illusion that appears to show a bird escaping from a cage when he spins it. Katrina Van Tassel wonders if it is magic but the logical Crane explains the trick. "It is what we call OPTICS! It is truth, but truth is not always appearance..."
I love sleepy Hollow in moments like this and it's a shame that the film has just a little too much action for its own good in the end with carriage chase shenanigans, besieged churches, axe fights, exploding windmills. I feel that ideally some of this could have been toned down to allow the less frantic and more rewarding elements to the film to have been explored more. The major strengths here are Johnny Depp and the art direction and monochromatic look of the film. It's fun and a film you can return to and watch again but with another lead actor this may very well have not been the case. Sleepy Hollow is flawed but still remains an entertaining and interesting film with a good cast. It gains an extra point for Depp's performance as Crane. My copy of this has a trailer and (at the time of writing) can be purchased for just under a fiver.
Sleepy Hollow is the third film directed by Tim Burton that stars Johnny Depp in it. The story is set in the late 1700s and it is about a police man called Ichabod Crane who is sent to the town of Sleepy Hollow to investigate some brutal murders. The victims have all been found minus their heads. The original story was penned by Washington Irving and this film version of it was made in 1999.
The film is very dark with a lot of the open air scenes being shot with just blues and blacks making up the picture. This plus plenty mist about the place really gives the film a mysterious, spooky atmosphere.
Johnny Depp put a lot into this role, I really liked the way he made the character strong but with a but of an effeminate side to him. You could tell that Icharus was a bit out of his depth with the investigation but wouldn't let his fears get in the way of duty. I loved the way Depp made the character act a bit childish like when he was trying to jump onto the back of the horse.
Christopher Walken was very sinister as the headless horseman. He was very frightening, I loved his facial expressions.
Christina Ricci played Katrina Van Tassel, heir to to a rich farmer in the town. Icharus finds him self falling in love with her. Sir Michael Gambon played her father Baltus Van Tassel and Miranda Richardson played his wife.
Also in the film are -
Ian McDiarmid as Doctor Lancaster
Jeffrey Jones as Reverend Steenwyck
Casper Van Diem as Brom Van Brunt
Michael Gough as Notary Hardenbrook
Christoper Lee as Burgomaster
I thought it was really good the way they got the decapitated heads and bodies to look real. I also like the contraption which Icharus wore when doing his detective bit. I especially liked the way they made the tree of the dead. I also liked the costumes in the film, they were really nicely made and everyone looked just as you would expect them to.
I liked the music which makes up the soundtrack to the film, it is written and produced by Danny Elfman and makes the film seem more dramatic. I think Elfman is my favourite composer for film soundtracks, I really love the way he fits the music exactly to the scene you are watching.
I really enjoyed this film, it was like a sort of fairy tale kind of story but for adults because of the violence in it (The film is given a rating of 15 for the UK so definitely not one for the children). It is typical of a Tim Burton movie having some of it quite childlike but with a very dark side to it as well. His films are always a little weird but very much to my liking.
Also on the dvd are - Two Original Theatrical Trailers, Behind The Legend, Reflections on Sleepy Hollow, Director's Commentary, Photo Gallery, Biographies.
Behind the legend is a documentary about the making of the movie. It is quite entertaining as it talks to the actors as well as showing you how they did things like making plaster casts of the actors to make the duplicate heads.
Reflections of Sleepy Hollow is also a good documentary with the actors talking about their parts in the film and how they got on with each other.
Made in 1999, Sleepy Hollow is an exciting and gruesome depiction of Washington Irving's novel 'The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.
Set in 1799, the atheist, scientific Constable Ichabod Crane is despaired of by his superiors and is sent away from New York, so the quiet village of Sleepy Hollow to solve a series of murders.
It soon becomes clear that his is no ordinary murder; the heads are not only decapitated, they are taken. As witches and the ghost of a deadly, headless horseman come into play Constable Crane's disbelief in the superstitious is put under scrutiny, especially when his past comes back to haunt him, but will his firm belief in 'sense and reason', and his certainty that the murderer is of flesh and blood serve him well? Will he find true love in the Hollow, or will Katrina, the object of his desires, turn out to have a deadly secret?
Crane must solve the mystery before more heads roll.
Characters & Cast:
Ichabod Crane: Johnny Depp (Pirates of the Caribbean).
A brilliant portrayal of the eccentric and intelligent Constable; such roles seem to suit Depp. While solving the case, Crane also has to go through the experience of remember a past he had wished to forget, but haunts him in his dreams, revealing a vulnerable side to the Constable.
Katrina Van Tassel: Christina Ricci (The Ice Storm).
Christina is the perfect actress for the role of the beautiful and innocent Katrina, the 'white witch'. She is a good match for Depp and their chemistry is terrific.
Young Masbath: Marc Pickering (Calendar Girls).
Young Masbath adds another level to the film, drawing away from the romance between Crane and Katrina. Pickering's almost comically common voice makes the young boy very likable, along with his courage and determination to avenge his father.
Casting: Susie Figgis and Ilene Starger.
They made a terrific job of the casting, each main character was perfectly matched by its actor, including Baltus and Lady Van Tassel who were played by Michael Gambon and Miranda Richardson.
Director: Tim Burton
It does not take long to see that this film is a brainchild of Burton, with the gothic edge and the trouble, eccentric hero. I would count this as one of his finest pieces of work.
There were some good effects in this film; you often see the heads actually being chopped off and rolling, then the body falling to the ground, it gives the film a definite edge.
To some the film might seem a bit cheesy, but I don't agree. I love this film, not only because it stars Johnny Depp, but also because I enjoy it the gothic setting and costumes and it makes for a really exciting, action-filled, mystery and romance.
I began to watch this film when I was very young, but my parents didn't really think it was appropriate for my viewing (I was only seven). Since then I've not really heard of Johnny Depp again until the first Pirates of the Caribbean came out. It was at his point where someone in my family became obssesed with him and started buying all of his films. It wasn't until this film was bought that I realised that Johnny Depp was in sleepy hollow.
I have never really been a great fan of horror films, or films with any blood involved at all in them, so when we first watched this again (when I was older) I wasn't convinced that I was going tio enjoy it. But surprisingly after about the third or fourth time of watching it, I got used to it, and therefore enjoyed it more.
The difference between this film and other horror films is that this one includes elements of humour and comedy mixed in with it, so although it might frighten you in parts, you can also have a bit of a chuckle.
The story is that in a little village called sleepy hollow, mysterious murders have been occuring. Nobody yet has seen who the murderer is, but all of the villagers have been whispering about the headless horseman, who, when he was alive, was someone who everybody feared. Eventually the horseman was killed, but some time on from that, somebody has awakened him and now he wants...his head back.
The horseman prides himself on fighting and basiclly chopping peoples heads off, while his other comrades came for money and profit, he came for war.
After a few murders, Ichabod Crane (Johnny Depp) finally comes across the 'sensible' reasoning behind what must have been happening, and it is literally a race against the horseman to escape the inevitable from happening.
This film is typical of the style of Tim Burton, with it's gothic horror references and how all the characters appear to be guilty some how or another, everything always clicks in neatly when you come to the end.
Ichabod Crane - Johnny Depp
Katrina Van Tassel - Christina Ricci
Baltus Van Tassel - Michael Gambon
Lady Van Tassel - Miranda Richardson
Young Masbeth - Marc Pickering
Brom Van Brunt - Casper Van Dien
Reverend Steenwych - Jeffrey Jones
Doctor Lancaster - Ian McDiarmid
Notary Hardenbrook - Michael Gough
Magistrate Philipse - Richard Griffiths
The Headless Horseman - Christopher Walken
Christopher Lee and Alun Armstrong also make guest appearances.
This is not something I would reccoemnd to young children as it may frighten them, but for older children (15+) I would you must give this film a try (if you like horror and humour). You can probable get this film of amazon for about £5.
Ichabod Crane: Johnny Depp
Katrina Van Tassel: Christina Ricci
Lady Van Tassel: Miranda Richardson
Baltus Van Tassel: Michael Gambon
Brom Van Brunt: Casper Van Dien
Hessian Horseman: Christopher Walken
Based on the story "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow", the film is about a police constable named Ichabod Crane who is sent to the village of Sleepy Hollow in order to find out who has been beheading the villagers. During his investigation, he finds the story of a horseman whose head has been stolen and has risen from Hell in need of revenge until the head is found. However, he doesn't believe the stories, until the horseman takes the head of one of the villagers right before his very eyes. The film is basically a race against time to find the origins of the legend, in order to send the horseman back to where he came from!
The film is very visually stunning; the colours are washed out with a dark filter so that it looks almost black and white, a great detail for a Gothic film. The landscape is very dark and shows the feeling of uneasiness, foreboding and perhaps a hint of decay. There is slight use of colour when Burton wishes to draw your eye to a certain object or person; and it really works. However, the colour isn't over the top and highly exaggerated, it's just small details added to a dark film. As soon as you see the village of Sleepy Hollow, it seems that all of the happiness has been drained from it, and the location is indeed extremely Gothic. The huge mansion on the hill is a beautiful setting; it's creepy and mysterious, only adding to the wonderful setting which the film relies on. There are amazing special effects; the main one being the headless horseman riding through the woods and chopping off people's heads! It's gruesome but very realistic in the way that it is done.
The cast is great; the three main characters being the best by far. Johnny Depp plays Ichabod Crane excellently, taking on the role perfectly. He has a rather expressive face, which shows in this film as he makes Crane seem both serious and amusing without appearing over-the-top. Christina Ricci plans Katrina Van Tassel, Crane's love, and she seems to fit in, playing the part really well. The only aspect which I tend to dislike is that the chemistry between the two lovers seems to be non-existent; they appear very 'wooden' when talking and acting affectionate towards each other. Christopher Walken plays the horseman perfectly, and I can't fault anything that he does. You stop seeing him as an actor and see him as the real horseman, decapitating people as he goes, blood splashing everywhere! He's great as this evil character, and I for one think that no-one else would be able to play the part better than he does.
The storyline is gripping and realistic. The supernatural element of the film is believable, and the actors play the parts so perfectly that you can feel yourself getting pulling into the village of Sleepy Hollow and actually experiencing everything that happens. The film twists in ways which you could never imagine, and the fact that Crane experience everything just as you do makes you feel as though you are both investigating and discovering things together.
A definite must-see for those Tim Burton fans!
I can't say I'm a massive fan of Johnny Depp but there are a growing collection of his films which have managed to get themselves into my top choices list. Sleepy Hollow being one of them. And what more could be suitable than watching multiple decapitations on a Friday night with the lights off? Especially when it's being directed by JD favourite Tim Burton.
Set in 1799 Constable Ichabod Crane is sent to the small hamlet of Sleepy Hollow. There have been a series of brutal murders and the locals are certain that it is being done by somebody who is no longer breathing. More interested in using his scientific tools he dismisses all of these tales, seeing them as pure nonsense. Although he is forced to swiftly change his tune when he comes face to face (sort of!) with the headless horseman himself.
Solving the crime is going to be far from simple but with the aid of Young Masbeth Crane is not to be chased away. More determined than ever to search out this murderer and after finding his grave and the missing skull suspicions start to arise when this horseman only wants to kill certain people. When coming under attack from one of the locals the horseman shows a limited interested in him becoming one of his victims. Whilst with the others he has shown little hesitation in slaughtering them. Possibly now it could be that somebody is controlling him. Making him do as they command.
Crane only has one option, to discover who is bringing this evil spirit back to life. There has to be some kind of witch craft involved but pointing the finger at different people isn't going to make you popular. However it seems that a lot of the locals have things to hide and are related in some ways to each other. Making it all the more difficult to work out what is going amiss and what the controller has to gain from all these killings.
This film was produced in 1999, directed by Tim Burton. It's strange to think that the role of Ichabod Crane could easily of gone to Brad Pitt. Someone who I don't believe would of done such a good job of it. Despite his position and need to be involved in occasional grizzly endings Crane has a slightly squeamish nature. Depp does another good portrayal of a quirky character. Visibly nervous and slightly cowardly Ichabod also develops a mini romance with Katrina Van Tassel.
This was the only thing which I find a bit disappointing about the whole film. Played by Christina Ricci, the Katrina and Ichabod story was a little lacking. If they felt anything towards each other they kept it very well hidden. Only in small moments was there glimpses of any affections and I don't know what this was all down to as Depp is usually very capable of acting in love scenes.
This is a very dark and gothic film, just as you'd expect coming from TB. It delves into the supernatural side of things and provides just the right amount of unpleasant moments with a dash of simple humour to enjoy. The location sets the right moods with unnerving mists approaching with the appearance of anything sinister which might be growing ever closer. Darkened colours and haunting trees are never short in supply. The extra details are what make a good film sometimes and this is definitely the case with Sleepy Hollow.
You see a mix of big and small screen stars in it as well. Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Christopher Walken, Michael Gambon with fleeting performances from Christopher Lee and Richard Griffiths. Then you also have Alun Armstrong and Claire Skinner. So a bit of a mixed bag but all who put in a good performance.
Overall I always enjoy watching this film and with everytime I do there is no doubt going to be something that I didn't pick up on. Little words or actions which I might not of thought much of since the last time I saw it. It has a very satisfactory ending and does not fail to disappoint. Plenty of blood, humour and a stilted romance-what more could you want?
Special features are a bit insignificant - a photo gallery, directors commentary, biographies, trailers and a short documentary. Although with it being this good who cares if the extras are a bit pointless!
It runs for 1 hour 45 minutes so it isn't too long either. It will cost you £4.98 from Amazon but £10.98 if you want it on Blu-ray. Very recommended, especially if you want something to unnerve you a bit.
Johnny Depp - Constable Ichabod Crane
Christina Ricci - Katrina Anne Van Tassell
Miranda Richardson - Lady Mary Van Tassell
Michael Gambon - Baltus Van Tassell
...and watch out for short but brilliant performance from Christopher Lee and Christopher Walkden.
"The horseman was a Hessian mercenary sent to the shores by German princes to keep Americans under the yoke of England. But unlike his compatriots, who came for money, the horseman came for love of carnage."
This really is a fun...
... and Tim Burton's direction and the great performances, especially by Johnny Depp, make this a truly great film to watch.
Constable Crane (Depp) is sent to the sleepy town of Sleepy Hollow to investigate three murders. These are not usual murders because the killer has chopped off each of their heads and hidden them, oh and the killer is in fact a headless horseman, and a ghost...
Crane's ways are quite conventional to the towns' folk and his steadfast belief that the killer is not a ghost is puzzling to them. When he finds out that the horseman is actually not a myth but real this both frightening and disturbing for Depp. The towns' folk expect him to travel home, but he decides to stay and fight the horseman.
In Sleepy Hollow, Crane meets the young Mary Van Tassell and they fall in love. He is also drawn into the legend and deeper into the story, in his bid to stop the killer.
I won't give too much away about all that.
Tim Burton's 1999 film is brilliant. The air of gothic horror is in abundance and the story that is told with tongue firmly placed in cheek is sometimes hilarious in its inanity. The horror scenes can be quite shocking and reminiscent of Sam Raimi's The Evil Dead. It is a dark tale that can only be captured using humour and Burton does this well.
Have I said Depp is excellent as Crane? If so, well what the hell, he IS. He hams things up really well and I was extremely impressed by this actor's acting qualities when first watched it many years ago.
Christopher Walkden hams up his role as the Horseman, too, and is suitably evil.
Based on the classic tale by Washington Irving this tale has been written for film by Kevin Yagher.
A great quote from the film...
Lady Van Tassel: 'Watch your heads!'
Also written for Ciao UK, is a slightly altered version, as Borg...
Tim Burton and Johnny Depp team up once again for a fantastic version of the novel written by Washington Irving, The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow.
Sleepy Hollow sees Johnny Depp playing Constable Ichabod Crane, who has been given the task of travelling to the little village of Sleepy Hollow to find out who has been murdering the people of the town. The legend of the village is that a headless horseman is behind them, but can Ichabod get the courage to confront him to win the heart of Katrina Van Tassel, played by Christina Ricci, and save the people of Sleepy Hollow from being the next victims off the axe wielding horseman?!
The Film is well directed by Tim Burton and has a star cast, alongside Johnny Depp and Christina Ricci are; Miranda Richardson, Michael Gambon, Christopher Lee, Richard Griffiths, Christopher Walken and Jeffrey Jones.
This is one of my favourite films because the whole story fits together well and the action and horror content never stops, whether it is people getting heads chopped off, blood splattering or people trying to flee from the village and not quite escaping. It's really good how the story unfolds as Ichabod tries to find out who is behind bringing back the headless horseman to take revenge on the village people. The effects of this film are also pretty good, with how you get to see the head actually being cut off and the bodies afterward too, really good make-up and models, so life like!
I would really recomend this film, Tim Burton and Johnny Depp do not dissapoint!! Heads Will Roll!!!
It's been a while since Sleepy Hollow was released, 10 years in fact and I have only just had the pleasur of watching it, since it has Johnny Depp in it you don't need me to tell you who directs it. It stars a large number of famous actors such as Depp, Christopher Walken, Christina Ricci, Michael Gambon, Miranda Richardson etc. It's a drama about the story of a headless horseman, the myth is that he comes out every now and then, kills, via decapitation unaware suspects and then steals their heads leaving the body behind. It's up to Depps character to find out the truth about these murders and once for all lay to rest the myth of the headless horseman.
The story is pretty good and the shooting of said story was done better than I though, especially for a Tim Burton film, the story about a constable (Depp) investigating the murders of 4...or was it 5 innocent people in and around Sleepy Hollow, the story follows on revealing the myth of the horseman, I had obviously heard of this before as it was a relativly famous plot and thing when it was released, I wasn't sure how well they would play it but in the scenes with the headless horseman it's done genuinly pretty good, I liked the way the whole film was shot, although at some parts (mostly the colour and substance that was supposed to be blood, being Tim Burton I thought this may have been purposeful to make it not really look like blood but who knows). The ending was pretty good and rather unexpected, this wasn't the most predictable film in the world, which is a good thing, certainly one of Tom Burtons better films.
The acting throughout the film is very good, Depp especially, as people may expect is excellent, what isn't he good in though. Ricci was equally as good, I haven't seen a huge amount of her stuff other than the classics but portrayed her role as the daughter of the town major/landlore etc. very well. Other than the leading actors, them being Depp and Ricci the support was star studded, Michael Gambon and Christopher Walken especially showing brilliant performances as well as Blackadder famed Miranda Richardson, there's any number of famous people in this film, I knew half of the actors by face rather than name but they're all pretty famous.
Unfortunatly the special features were severly lacking, all that was given was audio options and a trailer, what was the trailer for?
Sleepy Hollow, yep, there's a trailer, for the film you've just/about to watch on the dvd, this I don't understand, if I've just watched the film I don't really want to see a trailer and for me, if i'm about to watch a film I wouldn't want to see the trailer, since it would ruin some of the surprises in it (you may wonder why people watch trailers, but most people give it a week or 2 before watching a film after watching a trailer, giving them ample time to forget half the stuff). Especially if you've bought the dvd it's not like the trailer is needing to entice you into watching it.
Overall, I thought the story was pretty good, the shooting of said story was almost equally as good albeit lacking in some areas, the acting was top notch, especially from the now infamous Johnny Depp. The only downside to the whole film, other than was Burton's horrible description for blood is, was the special features, usually i'd be expecting more, if however you're just interested in the film you shouldn't be dissapointed.
"The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" was not at all like I expected it to be, and despite being somewhat of a 'horror' story, I found it a decent enough movie to watch. Taken from a Washington Irving story, there were some excellent special effects involved although some were quite gory. In particular, I thought the Tree of Death was absolutely brilliant. Remarkable.
The story begins in 1799 with Constable Ichabod Crane (Johnny Depp) trying to stop the disposal of the body of a man found in the river. He is probably one of the first forensic scientists as we know them. Where the police officer is adamant that if a body is found in the water, death was by drowning, Ichabod questions this by asking what if something happened BEFORE the body was put in the water. Obviously, his ideas do not go down well with the establishment, and during a court session one day, faced with a contempt charge, the Judge (Christopher Lee) offers him a chance to try out his detective work in a place called Sleepy Hollow. Sleepy Hollow is no restful place, there have been three deaths from beheading and these have been unsolved and the heads never found.
Ichabod accepts the challenge and travels to Sleepy Hollow. From the beginning it is obvious there is intrigue and superstition among the townspeople; he is befriended by Katrina (Christina Ricci) , the daughter of the man with whom he has been told to stay. After the death of another villager, the mans son begs Ichabod to let him serve him. Although he originally refuses, Ichabod soon changes his mind, and young Masmeth (Marc Pickering) becomes his protege.
What is happening in Sleepy Hollow? Who will fall foul of the mysterious Headless Horseman next? Who is the Horseman and why is he terrorizing the townspeople? Who is behind it all?
There are excellent cameos from Christopher Walken as the Hessian whose head was shopped off with his own sword in the same fashion as he had chopped off others heads in battle. He is particularly gruesome with teeth filed to enhance his frightening appearance.
As I said, this was a pretty decent movie, although not the sort of thing I'd normally watch. Tim Burton's talent shines through in the dark fairy-tale atmosphere. The woods were deliciously spooky. The cast was excellent. Ichabod's habit of fainting at the least thing creates a lighter moment here and there. Not for small children, this could easily provoke nightmares, but maybe 12 and older would enjoy the "spookiness".
Tim Burton's work can be summed up in a single word - atmospheric. And this was never more so than in his film 'Sleepy Hollow'. Forget the Disney cartoon version, this is one for grown ups...with strong stomachs at that.
The story starts in New York, where Constable Crane (Johnny Depp) is at work, recovering a floater, from the Hudson River. Well into early forensics, Crane is sent to Sleepy Hollow, to find out who's behind the multiple decapitations there. Crane uncovers a web of intrigue with an occult twist...and a twisted occultist at the heart of the trouble.
What's essentially a detective yarn with black magic thrown in in made hugely entertaining by the Burton touch. The pallid filmic realisation is bang on target, making the flesh creep and adding impact to the gore. There are some famous names in there too - Michael Gambon, Christopehr Lee, Pete Postlethwaite and Michael Gough (who came out of retirement to play the notary). And you can see Miranda Richardson enjoying getting her teeth into the role(s) she won, the main one being the most evil of twins ever.
Depp plays Ichabod Crane as part hero, part wuss, complete with a fear of spiders and a tendency to faint at moments of stress. Sadly, Christina Ricci, as his love interest, fails to deliver...good witch, yes, feeble, milk-and-water heroine, yes also.
Still, it's riveting watch, recommended for anyone with half an imagination. Look out also for the SFX error - the baddy's teeth don't pan out in the end.
I remember watching this just after it came out on video (yes, that long ago) and thinking 'this isn't so scary', right before it really made me jump out of my seat!
Don't be fooled though, this isn't a mindless, plot-less two hour gore fest; this is pure Burton gold as once again he takes a wonderful old story and brings it to life with all the magic and panache we have come to love his work for!
Set in the eighteenth century, Icabod Crane (Johnny Depp...once again) sets off to the gloomy village of Sleepy Hollow, planning to use his modern crime detection techniques to solve a series of grizzly murders...but has a bit of a shock as he realises he's not battling a mortal man, but a murderous ghost out for blood!
With a macabre group of village elders (which seem to be a parody of the housewives in Edward Scissor Hands) warning him of the dangers he seeks, the squeamish Crane must conquer his fears and slay the ghost to save the life and win the heart of the beautiful Katrina Vantassle (Christina Ricci). Also among the cast are Christopher Walken, Miranda Richardson, Casper Van Dien and Jeffrey Jones, to name a few.
Burton has taken advantage of the available special effects and high quality prosthetics to make this film believable, as well as incredibly macabre and entertaining, complimented again by a fitting and fantastic soundtrack! Beautiful sets and costumes give this film a wonderful depth, as well as stunning action sequences and some really memorable moments that will defiantly make you jump! I'm really glad they made this film a 15 and left in some of the blood... (though most of it is really quite tongue in cheek) too many films are ruined by being sugar coated for kids who are impatient to see a 'grown up' film
Director: Tim Burton (Ed Wood, Batman, Batman Returns, Beetlejuice, Big Fish, Edward Scissorhands)
Executive Producer: Francis Ford Coppola
Stars: Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Michael Gambon, Christopher Walken, Miranda Richardson, Michael Gough, Jeffery Jones, Richard Griffiths.
Runtime: 105 mins
Available from Amazon.co.uk for £3.98 plus p&p.
Sleepy Hollow has to be one of my all time favourite films, it is a visually stunning picture and i never get tired of watching it.
Based on the original 1820 short story 'The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow' by Washington Irving, the film is directed by Tim Burton and it gets a few new twists with him at the helm for the big screen adaption.
I think that Burton was a great choice of director for this film as he is well known for his dark and gothic style which he consistantly uses in his films like Ed Wood, Nightmare Before Christmas, Edward Scissorhands and Batman, and this style of directing certainly fits in well where this supernatural horror is concerned. Many consider Burton's style to be slightly melancholy, but i think his off beat unique style is genius, and in Sleepy Hollow he quite obviously pays homage to the Hammer Horror films that he loved as a child, and veteren Hammer Horror star Christopher Lee has a great little cameo role.
The set designs and costumes in Sleepy Hollow are quite spectacular and full of Grandeur and Burton again as in so many of his films uses colour sparingly, by that i mean he focuses on a few main colours and sticks with them throughout the whole film, usually greys, dark blues and orange, and this really adds to the gothic feel of the film, the Art direction team have done a fine job and really do deserve alot of credit aswell.
Burton has once again collaborated with Danny Elfman for this film. Elfman is responible for great film scores such as Batman, Spiderman, Mission Impossible, Nightmare Before Christmas and Corpse bride and many more and his dark and brooding Sleepy Hollow score really fits the film perfectly, and again proves that Elfman is one of the best film composers around.
Sleepy Hollow also see's Burton reunite with best friend and long time confidant Johnny Depp. Depp's off beat and unique style of acting suits the role of lead character Ichabod Crane perfectly. It is this off beat style and refusal to follow the mainstream, Hollywood typecast roles that first attracted Burton to Depp and vice versa, and is one of the reasons Depp is one of the finest actors of my generation(certainly up there with Pacino and De Niro in my opinion). Everytime Burton and Depp work together the outcome is one of brilliance and intelligence.
Burton also used many of his regulars in supporting roles for this film, most notibly Michael gough, Jeffery Jones and Christopher Walken, the film also stars the great Michael Gambon, Miranda Richardson, Richard Griffiths and Christina Ricci.
Sleepy Hollow tells the story of Ichabod Crane a new york Constable who has intrests in forensics ( a twist by Burton as this character was originally a school teacher, who disappeared form Sleepy Hollow). Crane is sent to the small hamlet of Sleepy Hollow to investigate a series of murders which have resulted in the victims being decapitated. Upon arriving in Sleepy Hollow Crane meets Katrina Van Tassel (Ricci) the beautiful daughter of Baltus Van Tassel (Gambon) and he is immediately attracted to her. But work must come first and Crane tells the town folk he is here to uncover the truth and capture the murderer. The town folk proceed to tell Crane that this is no ordinary investigation and that this perpetrator is not of flesh and blood but is a ghost named the headless horseman (Walken) who comes from beyond the grave, Crane refuses to beleive this and vows to bring the person responsible to justice.
Then one night Crane see's the headless horseman with his own eyes and although the Horseman ignores him he is almost scared to death and faints in shock. Despite his fears and the reoccuring nightmares from his childhood of his own Mothers death Crane vows to find what has brought this spirit back from the dead and what it is after, helped along by young orphan Masbeth who's father was killed by the horseman, Crane must go deep into the dark woods to discover the truth. Sleepy Hollow is a dark supernatural horror in the style of the old hammer productions, but slightly more polished i suppose and it also has great bits of humour in it too.
Depp does a fine job of portraying Crane, a slightly quirky and oddball character as so many of Depps characters are, his english accent is very good and he looks great in the film.
Christina Ricci also plays the beautiful damsel in distress very well, definitly one of her better performances, the supporting cast are superb especially Gambon and Richardson and Christopher Walken plays the hessian horseman brilliantly despit it being such a small part.
The direction is superb, the cinematography is superb, the art design and direction is superb, the acting is superb and the story itself is superb. This is a visually stunning film with a fantastic gothic score.
Special Features on the dvd are: Two original Theatrical Trailers - Behind The Legend - Reflections On Sleepy Hollow - Directors Commentary - Photo Gallery - Biographies - Interactive Moving Menus.
This, for me is Burton at his best, and is definitly one of his finest pictures, he rarely fails to disappoint and Sleepy Hollow is no exeption.