- Tim Burton
- Reviewed by
- José Ruiloba a.k.a. Morris
- Review date
- Sunday, September 09, 2001
Constable Ichabod Crane (Johnny Depp) is sent to investigate a series of murders taking place at New York’s Hudson Valley. His way of work is rather more scientific than what he’s required to do there. People suspect the killer to be something more than human, and that’s way too much for what Ichabod is willing to believe. In town, he also meets a beautiful girl (Christina Ricci), with whom he falls in love just as everything starts to evolve into something more mysterious than what it initially seemed.
Sleepy Hollow is based on the classic Irving Washington tale already immortalized in a great Disney short cartoon. When I first heard the news about a movie being made I got really excited. Even more when I heard who was going to be involved. Then came the trailer, one of the best previews I’d seen in a long time. What could go wrong? Well, something quite important called “a script.”
A truly underdeveloped script for my taste is what hurts this movie to its very core. The main problem lies in the way the movie tries to mix to very unique genres and make that work. Sometimes this can give great results, but other times it can sink a movie, for Sleepy Hollow is neither funny nor scary at all.
The most hurtful aspect surrounding this production is the way it could have reached greatness. It had it all! Tim Burton’s a genius, and his direction, his vision, his ideas simply go unmatched. Johnny Depp gives one of his best performances as the weird, shy, methodical Ichabod. Christina Ricci, another favorite of mine, does a great job as well. And I mean, Johnny and Christina as a couple? Brilliant idea! Then there is the wonderful look of the movie, with its ravishing Oscar-winning art direction and its elegant and magnificent cinematography courtesy of the great Emmanuel Lubezki. Impossible to forget is Danny Elfman’s terrific score. And have I mentioned Christopher Lee and Martin Landau also appear in small roles?
It simply hurts... and deep.
One should give credit to everyone involved for trying. To be fair, I must say the movie actually works as an homage to all those wonderful 40’s and 50’s horror movies. There’s a special tongue-in-cheek way the movie plays that is irresistible, just as the way everything is so over-the-top. I specially loved the way blood is shown in glorious, almost fluorescent, red.
Not a complete misfire, but it’s a shame it didn’t live up to expectations...
“Watch your heads!”
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Other reviews of Sleepy Hollow (1999): Jacinda