Sleepy Hollow (1999)
Director: Tim Burton
I saw this movie again with the wife, finally, after getting it (along with several other Tim Burton movies) for her as a stocking stuffer type present for her birthday year before last. She is a huge Tim Burton fan, and being female of course (sigh) a huge fan of Johnny Depp as well. I was fascinated to see this again because being a history nerd, one of my favorite periods of American History is that period about a generation removed from the Revolutionary War and a generation separated in advance from the Civil War. It was that period of time that Irving Washington first set quill to paper to write the Legend of Sleepy Hollow, which is one of my favorite childhood stories as well, and one that holds up very well into my adulthood. The America which Irving wrote that story in was a young America that not yet had time to have its own natural ghost stories, which is indeed one of the themes of Irving’s original work. Sadly, apart from a few character names here and there and the base story of the Headless Horseman this movie bares little resemblance to that original source material. Ichabod Crane is no effeminate schoolteacher here. Instead he is a bizarre, introverted 18th century version of a modern day C.S.I/bumbling Sherlock Holmes type. Aesthetically the movie is very dark and menacing and just overall gorgeous to look at, but the story I thought suffered from turning into a generic slasher movie, which becomes very obvious about half way through. That said, as far as generic slasher movies go, this is a damn good one. Aside from Depp, Christina Ricci looks perfectly at home in these creepy surroundings, as does Christopher Lee, and of course Christopher Walken who plays the famous decapitated Hessian equestrian. This is far from Tim Burton’s finest work, but it’s nothing to snub your nose at either.
Daily Inquiry: What is your favorite Tim Burton/Johnny Depp collaboration?