Film · Reviews

Sleepy Hollow (1999) Film Review | 100 Day Film Challenge – Day 71

Tim Burton’s take on the classic tale of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman is typical Tim Burton: stylish, dark, and Gothic. Johnny Depp as Ichabod and Christina Ricci as Katrina Van Tassel are both deliciously fantastic, and supporting turns from Casper Van Dien, Christopher Walken, Miranda Richardson, and Michael Gambon add to the incredible retelling.

After several people have unfortunately (and gruesomely) lost their heads, Ichabod is summoned to Sleepy Hollow and tasked with finding out what the hell is going on. He doesn’t believe in the legend of the Headless Horseman and calls bullshit… until he encounters the Horseman personally. He soon races to find the Horseman’s missing head and save the town.

This is a gorgeous film. The costumes are spectacular, the visuals are outstanding (seeing a tree bleed blood as its limbs are hacked off is particularly memorable), and the locales are creepy and chilling. I also loved how the film is mostly dark, with only the occasional flare of a white dress or a splash of claret to provide color to a dreary world.

Sleepy Hollow isn’t one of my favorite Burton films, though. The pacing is patchy,and there were parts of the movie where my attention started to wane. It would usually gain it back quickly, though, with a gory moment or intriguing story element.

This is a beautiful retelling with fantastic performances from its all-star cast and fun gore. The pacing is uneven, and it doesn’t live up to Burton’s best films, but if you love his filmography or love the legend of the Headless Horseman, Sleepy Hollow is definitely worth a watch.

 Verdict: 3.5/5

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