#31in31 – Sleepy Hollow

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oct 10 sleepy hollow

Kill it! No, no! Stun it!

Story: A headless horseman has been decapitating people in Sleepy Hollow. Constable Ichabod Crane thinks the killer is flesh and blood. The people of Sleepy Hollow think otherwise…

Scares: Of the Dark And Stormy Night variety, with a few shocks thrown in for good measure.

Splat factor: Decapitations, and a few other murders. Some blood during Crane’s “forensics”. And the coolest bleeding tree. But nothing over the top.

Closing scene “shocker”?: Nope. All wrapped up nicely.

Remake, Sequel or OG (Original Ghoul)?: “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving is the general basis of this film. There are several other film adaptations, but this is it’s own particular version.

Trick or Treat?: Pre-rum Jack Sparrow and blond Wednesday Addams. Christopher Lee!!1! Miranda Richardson! FX guru Kevin Yagher & Francis Ford Coppola producing! Danny Elfman’s score! Christopher Walken as the Horseman! And, of course, Tim “I share hair products with Robert Smith” Burton directing. Naturally, this will be cool. But it’s also a lot of fun.

Burton paints Crane as a renaissance man, though Crane’s fear of the unknown is still intact. There’s also a turn of the (19th) century bit added on that tied into the movie’s opening in 1999. Halfway through, the plot drags a bit. But the Tree of the Dead payoff is pretty sweet, and makes up for the lag. So does the climax…or should I say both of them?

Sleepy Hollow has a nice Gothic feel. Add Yagher’s FX and Colleen Atwood’s Academy Award nominated costuming, and it’s a chillingly pleasant way to spend a few hours. (BTW, Sleepy Hollow won an Oscar for Best Production Design that year. Totes deserved.)

Score: 4 out of 5 pumpkins.


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