Sleepy Hollow

Sleepy Hollow is a 1999 American horror film directed by Tim Burton. It is a film adaptation loosely based on Washington Irving’s 1820 short story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”, and stars Johnny Depp and Christina Ricci, with Miranda Richardson, Michael Gambon, Casper Van Dien, and Jeffrey Jones in supporting roles. The plot follows police constable Ichabod Crane (Depp) sent from New York City to investigate a series of murders in the village of Sleepy Hollow by a mysterious Headless Horseman. Today was the first time I actually sat and watched the film.

In 1799, New York City police constable Ichabod Crane is dispatched to the upstate Dutch hamlet of Sleepy Hollow, which has been plagued by a series of brutal decapitations: a wealthy father and son, and a widow. Received by the insular town elders—wealthy businessman Baltus Van Tassel; town doctor Thomas Lancaster; the Reverend Steenwyck; notary James Hardenbrook; and magistrate Samuel Philipse—Ichabod learns that locals believe the killer is the undead apparition of a headless Hessian mercenary from the American Revolutionary War who rides a black steed in search of his missing head. Ichabod begins his investigation, skeptical of the paranormal story. Boarding at the home of Baltus Van Tassel and his second wife, Lady Van Tassel, he is taken with Baltus’ spiritual daughter, Katrina.

His investigations, although he himself is scared of the killer, will reveal that the “master” (the one who dug up the severed head of the horseman was Lady Van Tassel, from an impoverished family evicted years ago by Van Garrett when he favored Baltus and Katrina instead. She swore revenge against Van Garrett and all who had wronged her, pledging herself to Satan if he would raise the Horseman to avenge her, and also to claim the estate uncontested. Manipulating her way into the Van Tassel household, she used fear, blackmail, and lust to draw the other elders into her plot. She also killed her twin sister and her final victim is intended to be Katarina. After an escape that destroys the windmill and the subsequent chase to the Tree of the Dead, Ichabod throws the Horseman’s skull to him. Freed, and with his head restored, the Horseman spares Katrina and attacks Lady Van Tassel, giving her a bloody kiss and returning to Hell with her in tow, fulfilling the deal. His faith restored, Ichabod returns to New York with Katrina and Young Masbath, just in time for the new century.

This is a film that I always tried to watch back in the years that they showed it a lot on cable tv and when I used to watch cable tv and would also miss the beginning and hence stopped watching after a few minutes. Now I have finally see it in it’s entirety. It’s a good enough film with a good cast and cinematography is great. Nice score as well. I would give it a 7.5 outta 10!

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