Sleepy Hollow (1999)
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Critic Reviews for Sleepy Hollow
Pickering's wide, tremulous eyes reflect the film's lurid appeal to youthful terrors.
For about an hour it's a fine, ghoulish carnival sideshow, and that has its charms, but there's a thin desperation about the climax.
Burton, for all his skill, never ranges beyond the thrills of the obvious; he doesn't enlarge the meaning of the horror he shows us, the way a Brian De Palma might.
Sleepy Hollow has an aesthetic that seems based on album covers. It doesn't feel like the work of an artist in any way.
Even when the narrative stalls from too many detours and decapitations, Sleepy Hollow is gorgeous filmmaking that brims over with fun-house thrills and ravishing romance.
Audience Reviews for Sleepy Hollow
Burton creates the best homage to the Universal monster films of the late 30's, early 40's that I've ever seen in this steroid-injected take on the old Washington Irving tale of a horse-riding phantom of doom. Not everything goes smoothly. Johnny Depp has to "do" scared wimpy guy a bit too much, making other actors have to react disgustedly too much as well. It gets old after the third or fourth time. Walken's ghost growls sometimes too long ("stop growling and do something, f'cryingoutloud!" I'd think). And Ricci ... was she only a stand-in for Winona Ryder? Whatever, despite these niggling concerns, the work succeeds in eliciting the romance those films of old simmered in, the mood and nuance. I loved it.
A handsomely shot and decorated film from the always gothic Tim Burton about the legend of Sleepy Hollow and the headless horseman (the terrifically casted Christopher Walken), and how Ichabod Crane (Johnny Depp) ventures to the mythical town of Sleepy Hollow to investigate some suspicious murders done by the villain. While the acting pretty much sucks, and Depp is still doing his "hands acting" thing way too much, the dark nature and atmosphere that permeates the film is unmistakable. Burton definitely has a feel for this story, as well as how to capture the look of it from a cinematography standpoint, it is just too bad the acting is so bad. Which more or less pushes this film into "campy" territory far too often. So, it's a toss-up. I really liked certain parts of it but then some aspects were so terrible you can not help but laugh. So, not the worst movie I have ever seen, but far from the best. Although I will admit I enjoyed it even when it gets utterly ridiculous.
New York City constable Ichabod Crane, despairing at his police force's archaic methods of investigation seeks to prove himself on a murder case in Sleepy Hollow where several of its citizens have been found decapitated. The American literary classic gets the Burton treatment in this lavish re-imagining of the familiar tale of the headless horseman. Johnny Depp brings his usual brand of quirky charm to the part of the olde worlde CSI wannabe whose faith in science and reason is tested by coming face to face with a ghoulish spectre; in fact this part can be seen as the prototype of the slightly inept, not entirely courageous pirate we all know and love. This film unites all the elements that make me love Tim Burton's work and is a kind of gothic fantasy homage to Hammmer horror with the perfect blend of gore, humour and swashbuckling tied up in an ingenious whodunnit plot. Visually it ranks amongst Burton's best, with fantastic sets, beautiful period design and superb effects that is bolstered by an outstanding ensemble cast that breathe life into this off beat historical world that is tinged with the supernatural. Scary, exciting and fun, I would have to say that for my money this is the best of Burton's films.
Sleepy Hollow Quotes
|Baltus Van Tassel:||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.|
|Ichabod Crane:||The millennium is almost upon us. In a few months, we will be living in the nineteenth century. But our courts continue to rely on medieval devices of torture|
|High Constable:||Stand down.|
|Ichabod Crane:||I stand up for sense and justice.|
|Reverend Steenwyck:||Their heads weren't found severed. Their heads were not found at all.|
|Ichabod Crane:||The heads are... gone?|
|James Hardenbrook:||Taken. Taken by the Headless Horseman. Taken back to hell.|
|Brom Van Brunt:||We haven't heard your name yet, friend.|
|Ichabod Crane:||I have not said it.|