Sleepy Hollow

30 Movies in 30 Days: Sleepy Hollow

Sleepy Hollow

This is a very important movie, people—this is the second and final film of this challenge that I have previously seen. It’s all new stuff for me (and you!) from here on out. It’s going to be great. But first, we must describe the incredible Tim Burton lovefest that is Sleepy Hollow.

The gist: It’s the classic American legend, but with loads more delicious details.

A goth-ified Ichabod Crane (played by Johnny Depp, because it’s a film directed by Tim Burton) heads to the small town of Sleepy Hollow to investigate a series of murders. He’s not a schoolteacher this time, but a detective. And a conspiracy within the town is drawing the Headless Horseman out of the supernatural world. A Headless Horseman, by the by, who has an actual backstory! He’s the fictional leader of the real Hessian soldiers from the Revolutionary War. Just… bloodier.

What I “learned”: Auteurs are amazing. If someone has the gumption and the money to control every single aspect of a movie, it’s more often than not something worth seeing. Tim Burton undoubtedly saw to every detail of this film, and it’s deliciously detailed in this way. It’s so delightful to see a world that’s one hundred percent controlled by its creator. It’s a lovely environment, and the costumes are detailed enough to remind one of the Disney short The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Patton Oswalt said it best when speaking about Disneyland: “Sometimes if you give obsessive-compulsives enough money, sometimes they do really amazing stuff.” Let creative minds run free!

See this movie if you like: Dark imagery, movie-wide color schemes, and so-vivid-it’s-cheesy gore. There are some nods to Hammer horror films, which I learned about on the wonderful Bloodcast podcast. So there are some fun little Easter eggs for horror fans. And of course, Johnny Depp fangirls will be very satisfied.

Avoid this movie if: You find Tim Burton pretentious. This is the most Burton-esque movie out of all the Burton movies I’ve personally ever seen. And I’ve seen many!

To be blunt about it, this movie contains every single Burton trope. There are adorable children, snow-white damsels, twisted young men and monsters with sharp teeth. There’s lots of great imagery worth checking out, some stuff very similar to more “twisted” movies like Antichrist. So I would definitely recommend this film to people who are “fringe” Tim Burton fans or are ambivalent about Burton’s works. But if you really don’t care for Burton’s works, you really won’t care for this film. Gore and living actors are all that separate this film from being as Burton-indulgent as Corpse Bride (shudder).

Full disclosure: I did not fully finish this movie upon this watching occasion. I figured it was fine for this situation since it was a movie I had previously seen before, but please let us know in the comments if you feel differently. We’re open to your thoughts and opinions!

poltergeist Princess Dread Movie Challenge

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