Sleepy Hollow

Roll over, Washington Irving. Tim Burton's stylish and creepy homage to the Hammer horror films of the late '50s is also the most atmospheric piece of grand guignol gothic since Mario Bava's BLACK SUNDAY. This time out, Ichabod Crane (Johnny Depp) is a New York City cop in dutch with the department because he prefers searching for clues to torturing suspects....read more

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Reviewed by Steve Simels
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Roll over, Washington Irving. Tim Burton's stylish and creepy homage to the Hammer horror films of the late '50s is also the most atmospheric piece of grand guignol gothic since Mario Bava's BLACK SUNDAY. This time out, Ichabod Crane (Johnny Depp) is a New York

City cop in dutch with the department because he prefers searching for clues to torturing suspects. As punishment, a nasty judge (Hammer star Christopher Lee) dispatches him upstate to investigate three mysterious decapitations; once there, the fiercely rationalist Crane is disturbed to learn that

the locals blame the deaths on the Headless Horseman, the ghost of a monstrous Hessian soldier (Christopher Walken at his feral best). Crane also discovers he's not much of a hero (he twitches and faints a lot), and begins to have troubling dreams, perhaps inspired by the beautiful Katrina

(Christina Ricci), the witchy daughter of the village's richest citizen. What follows — an extremely convoluted mystery rife with countless suspects and plot reversals — may be silly in the abstract, but Burton renders it with total conviction and a poet's eye, with woods that seem

literally alive and a sensational showdown in a burning windmill à la FRANKENSTEIN. He also makes great use of a terrific cast — even the usually wooden Casper Van Dien seems to be in on the joke for a change — and in a particularly sly touch he gives the various village bigwigs

the corrupt, overfed look of characters in a Hogarth illustration. A triumph of genre filmmaking.

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  • Released: 1999
  • Rating: R
  • Review: Roll over, Washington Irving. Tim Burton's stylish and creepy homage to the Hammer horror films of the late '50s is also the most atmospheric piece of grand guignol gothic since Mario Bava's BLACK SUNDAY. This time out, Ichabod Crane (Johnny Depp) is a New… (more)

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