Not so sleepy…but very creepy…

…and absolutely wonderful! Full of atmosphere and eccentricity. Oh, those worlds Tim Burton can submerse us in! Welcome to the town of Sleepy Hollow:

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Where the headless horseman is in search of such object. A head that is. So intent on his mission that body after body is found clean cut and cauterised, “as though the blade itself were red hot. And yet, no blistering. No scorched flesh”. Ah…”The devil’s fire”.

Or, maybe not. After all, that’s what the constable Ichabod Crane (Johnny Depp, who here reminds us that there once was a brilliant actor before Jack Sparrow) is here to prove. “Murder needs no ghost to come from the grave. We have murders in New York without the benefit of ghouls and goblins.” But Baltus Van Tassel (Michael Gambon) reminds him that “You’re a long way from New York, Constable”. Ichabod isn’t convinced despite shaking in fear that he can barely hold his cuppa “The assassin is a man of flesh and blood and I will discover him.”.

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So his investigation begins. With magic and sorcery and curses. Add some greed and other small town secrets and you’ve the start of a potion to behold. The key ingredients though are Tim Burton and the entire cast (Johnny Depp, Michael Gambon, Christina Ricci, Miranda Richardson, Christopher Lee and every single other actor and actress involved, with Christopher Walken topping it all off as the Headless Horseman.) Finally, Danny Elfman’s music makes this cauldron of art boil to perfection.

Sleepy-Hollow-Poster-202x300Tim Burton is just phenomenal with the fantastical words he creates for us. No matter which story he tackles, he weaves a gorgeous canvas that is utterly over the top yet at the same time moody and convincing. Don’t be misled by the seeming “lighter” parts he gives us – those bright and dreamy sequences that are as menacing as the dark and misty ones.

This Halloween, enjoy some Gothic Horror with Sleepy Hollow (1999). It is worth every millimeter of film.

And if that isn’t enough, there’s plenty more of the like over at Pale Writer and the bloggers of her Dark and Deep: The Gothic Horror Blogathon (here).

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20 comments

  1. Something stopped my first planned viewing of this film and I’ve never gotten back to it. It appears I have done myself a disservice.

    – Caftan Woman

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I adore this film. I’m so glad that you enjoyed it, and I absolutely agree that the film is steeped in the divine gloom of the Gothic. I particularly love how the film is colour treated to make everyone look pale, with the colour palette verging on black and white at times. Christopher Walken is absolutely terrifying as the Horseless Headman in my humble opinion. Those teeth! Thanks so much for taking part in my Blogathon!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Walken is just brilliant in any role isn’t he. But yes, here is is perfectly terrifying.
      You know what? I’ve so enjoyed rewatching this one with your Blogathon in mind that I’m really in the mood for more Gothic Horror (that isn’t too scary). Crimson Peak is so tempting but I’m so scared I’ll be scared.

      Like

  3. I’ve always loved this film. And yet it involves a personal peeve of mine. I once read a review that stated that, with the exception of making Ichabod Crane a constable sent to solve the mystery instead of a tortured school teacher, the film is very true to the original story. Anyone who has ever read the original Washington Irving story knows that is like saying your version of Moby Dick is very true to the book other than making Captain Ahab a successful pastry chef.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s actually a short story. The Disney animated version from 1949 is, surprisingly, very true to the story.

        As I said, I love the Tim Burton film. It is just very different.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve always enjoyed Tim Burton’s Sleep Hollow. I first saw it in the theatre. Walking out of the theatre once it was finished, I told my best friend Brian that I thought it was the best Hammer Film that Hammer never made!

    Liked by 1 person

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