"The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" is a story that everyone knows, and nobody forgets. Everyone knows the tale: Ichabod Crane, a cowardly school teacher newly arrived in the town of Sleepy Hollow, falls victim to the Headless Horseman and is never seen from again.
Tim Burton has changed it drastically, and to the better. While some people might like the simplistic version that has been played out over so many decades, Burton's version is more complicated, more gruesome, and more entertaining. The only thing that the movie resembles of the original legend is the name Ichabod Crane, the town of Sleepy Hollow, and the existence of the headless horseman. In the movie, there is a conspiracy, murder plots, magic, and the past of both the Headless Horseman and Ichabod Crane are looked in to.
No other director could have pulled Sleepy Hollow off better than Burton. With such dark films as Batman and Edward Scissorhands, which also starred Johnny Depp, Sleepy Hollow is a perfect match. The setting is dark and forlorn, with a sense of loneliness and solitude. The town itself is a piece of work and the woods are about as creepy as can be.
Johnny Depp, who has proved himself in two previous Burton films, and Christina Ricci, who has shown that darkness is her game, star, and both do a superb job. Supported by a great cast, the two lead actors make a dazzling couple. While Depp is a New York constable in the film, compared to the schoolteacher that his character usually is, Crane's personality is kept the same; he is disconnected from the rest of the world, strange, and cowardly (although he does get some courage as the movie drags on). Oh, and Christopher Walken plays the best Headless Horseman ever.
Sleepy Hollow is a work of art, and it's also creepy, scary, and mystically enchanting.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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