Halloween is rapidly approaching, so I’ve decided to get in a bit early on watching movies for the season. Recently, I re-watched Sleepy Hollow (1999), and with scary pumpkin heads (amongst other things), makes this a good Halloween movie.
Johnny Depp plays Ichabod Crane, a young police constable sent to the village of Sleepy Hollow to investigate some gruesome murders.
Classified as a Gothic supernatural horror film, there is a suitable amount of gore without overwhelming the audience. Beheadings, digging up graves, and dissecting corpses is balanced with the arrival of impending doom of the headless horseman.
Despite the horror, the film has some lighter moments, mainly through Johnny Depp’s character, who at first comes across as awkward, weak and a bit eccentric. It is his unconventional approach to the investigation that helps him to solve the case, as well as become a stronger person.
There is a good cast alongside Johnny Depp, including Michael Gambon and Richard Griffiths (both of Harry Potter fame), Jeffrey Jones (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off), Miranda Richardson (Harry Potter, Blackadder), and of-course the legendary Christopher Lee (always a winner in my book 😉 ).
My favourite moments throughout the film would have to be the headless horseman and the outdoor scenes.
The combination of set design and visual effects helps make this film one of the best in terms of gloomy atmosphere. The village is a perpetual dark and eerie place, and the nearby forest is surrounded in a thick fog. The appropriately named ‘Tree of the Dead’ is old and gnarled, with a bloodied past.
The headless horseman, played by Christopher Walken, has a facial appearance every bit as horrific as the rest of him, with wild hair and eyes, and sharp, pointed teeth.
With such a menacing presence, the film comes to a satisfying, but frightening conclusion.
What films do you have planned to watch this Halloween?
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6 thoughts on “Revisiting ‘Sleepy Hollow’”
I watched Sleepy Hollow a few years back. What sticks with me is the spooky atmosphere that you mentioned. I plan on watching a classic I’ve never seen before called Carnival of Souls. It’s from 1962.
Hi Priscilla. I’ve never heard of that film before. Sounds like it could be interesting. Enjoy!
I love this movie and have lost count of how many times I watched it. Even though it does not resemble the book in any way I thought the mystery it was built around was brilliant. I didn’t care for the gore but loved the misty, grey, woods. Last time I got the DVD from the library I watched “the making of” feature and it was really interesting. I noticed there were a couple of scenes that imitated the Disney Sleepy Hollow cartoon which was cute. Of course it is always pleasant to look at a young Johnny Depp too.
Hi Judy. I don’t think I’ve ever read the book, and it has been a long time since I’ve seen the Disney cartoon version. The ‘making of’ sounds interesting. I always watch those as I love seeing the work that goes into things like animation and set design, and ‘Sleepy Hollow’ has a gorgeous set. Thanks for stopping by, it’s nice to meet you. 🙂
‘Sleepy Hollow’ is hands down my favourite of all Tim Burton’s films. Do yourself a favour and watch the behind the scenes (it’s available on Youtube). I believe the whole movie was filmed with a blue filter to create the cold and creepy atmosphere.
Hi Melanie! This film and ‘Corpse Bride’ would have to be ‘up there’ for me when it comes to Tim Burton films. Thanks for letting me know the behind the scenes is on YouTube, I’ll look into it as it sounds really interesting. Thanks so much for stopping by! 🙂
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