Everyone remembers the cartoon of this story, right? Well, not only do I remember that, but I also remember that we bought a live-action version of the story starring Jeff Goldblum from the grocery store some time in the early 90’s, and it was boring and shitty. The first time I watched this installment, I had invited my mom to watch it with me because it was probably a Friday or Saturday night and I was a loser with no friends. Much to our surprise, this movie was bloody as shit!I don’t necessarily mean that in either a good or a bad way, I guess it was just surprising. Where am I going with this? I really have no idea, I’m just trying to fill the “introductory paragraph” that you have all come to know and love. Oh wait! I saved the best for last! Did you know I’ve actually fucking visited Sleepy Hollow? Ya see, back in college, when most other people were doing drugs or having sex or whatever, I was convincing friends to go on roadtrips in the middle of the night to places like Sleepy Hollow. Did anything spooky happen there? Nope! But it’s pretty funny that the name of every building and company there had “Sleepy Hollow” in the name. Thanks like “Animal Hospital of Sleepy Hollow”, or “Sleepy Hollow Diner”, even “This Building is Awake and Solid…of Sleepy Hollow”. Okay fine, I made some of those up.
Despite Johnny Depp fitting the part, this relationship seemed a little forced. One exchange of dialogue included Ichabod being all, “OH HEY GIRL, ARE YOU LIKE, A FUCKING WITCH OR SOMETHING?,” and she’s all like, “WHOA HEY WHY ARE YOU BEING A DICK TO ME RIGHT NOW,” and then Ichabod is all like, “NAW BITCH, IT’S BECAUSE YOU’VE FUCKING BEWITCHED ME……OH SHIIITTTTTTTTT!!!!” and then they fuck or something.
It’s the turn of the century, which I think was the 18th going on 19th, and Ichabod Crane (Johnny Depp) is sent from the police brigade (or whatever they called it) in New York City to the town of Sleepy Hollow. Ichabod is seemingly chastised and punished for investigating all deaths and pushing for the science behind all murders. It appears he’s met his match when the people in Sleepy Hollow are blaming the recent deaths on an old legend of a Headless Horseman, who is the spirit of a brutal war criminal. As more and more people are being murdered, and Ichabod Crane, in his bumbling yet scientific ways, is trying to find out what all of the victims have in common. After some detective work, it turns out that all the murders can be tied to some sort of dispute over land or money or something, and there’s one lady who has something to gain from all of these murders, so she had taken the skull of the Horseman, allowing her to command him. Crane is able to take possession of the skull and return it to the spectre that’s been beheading everyone, who then takes the one commanding him down to Hell with him. Feeling as though his job was accomplished, Ichabod Crane moves back to New York City with Christina Ricci and some kid whose dad was killed by the Horseman.
I DON’T REMEMBER ANY OF THAT SHIT FROM THE CARTOON. And to be quite honest, I think Mr. Burton took a few artistic liberties to make this movie. Johnny Depp as Ichabod Crane was a good choice, and he was able to play a character who is odd and quirky, yet not stupid or insane. It’s a much more subtle version of some of the Johnny Depp characters we’ve seen in the past decade. Most of the supporting cast was pretty good too, especially Christopher Walken as the Head-having Horseman. The look and feel of the film was one of the highlights, as Burton was able to make everything look authentic, yet give the feeling of unease. Lots of scenes, if not all of them, were filmed with blue-tinted filters that gave everything a cold and detached look. Despite the film being interesting to look at, and all of the cast doing a great job, the biggest issue with this movie is the liberties made with the plot. I’m still not sure if I have any fucking clue what was going on in it, and it was made far more complicated than I felt it needed to be. I understand that there might not have been too much to go with as far as adapting the source material into the movie, but did it need to be that complicated? I totally left shit out of the plot because it would have confused me again trying to figure it out, but you’re not missing out. Another thing was that even though the look and feel of the film was odd and interesting, it wasn’t actually scary. I think the creepy part about the Headless Horseman is the mystery behind who he is and why he kills the people he kills. I feel that way about most legends, that the less you know the better, and that there was no rhyme or reason as to why you’d fall victim to this phantom. It certainly committed to a certain tone, but that tone wasn’t all that creepy or anything, and was a little too similar to any other “slasher” that was out around that time.
Wolfman Moon Scale