Sleepy Hollow
(Click here for Internet Movie Database entry)

Tim Burton always makes films that are visually interesting, entertaining, strange,  and dark, very dark.  His new film, Sleepy Hollow, fits very nicely into the Burton genre.  It is the well known tale by Washington Irving of the headless horseman.  I fear the new film version shares little with the original story other than the aforementioned horseman and the name of the lead character, Ichabod Crane.  Here, Ichabod (Johnny Depp) is a constable from New York City called in to investigate the decapitation of three residents of a small town up the Hudson River called Sleepy Hollow.  As another reviewer pointed out, Ichabod gets off on the wrong foot since his coach is seen driving up the west side of the Hudson river while Sleepy Hollow is on the east. Anyway, Ichabod (love that name) arrives in Sleepy Hollow and immediately the heads start flying.  There can't be many residents left with their heads by the end of the movie.  The headless horseman arrives with great regularity  and very graphically cuts off the head of his latest victim. Little is left to the imagination here. Those with weak stomachs may want to give this a pass. It might be too much even for Connor Bertram! There is a very able cast here including Christina Ricci, Miranda Richardson, Christopher Walken and Martin Landau (seen briefly before losing his head).  Ricci plays the love interest for Ichabod and shows much more courage in the face of headless bodies than Ichabod who faints at regular intervals throughout the movie.  Ichabod is painted as an 18th century Sherlock Holmes with lots of outlandish looking instruments to aid him in detecting evil doers.  As it turns out, Ichabod is incompetent and fails to detect anything.  This is the most disappointing thing in the movie since there is no sense that Ichabod is hot on the trail of the horseman.  Rather, the horseman saws his way through most of the residents of Sleepy Hollow before the source of the apparition is revealed, not, however, due to anything Ichabod has accomplished.  Johnny Depp is good here in his third movie with Tim Burton as the dorky Ichabod Crane.  Christina Ricci, looking a bit weird as a blonde, is good as the damsel not in distress.  The best thing is the art direction.  You feel that the only color in Sleepy Hollow is the blood that is constantly spattering Ichabod's face. The rest of the town and countryside is black and white and grey.  Otherwise, the movie is a bit flat. I was never scared and I didn't care much about the characters to the point that the character that I cared most about was the evil horseman himself as he was forced to kill and kill again when he just wanted to rest quietly in his grave.