Sleepy Hollow is another famous gothic tale that fit Tim Burton perfectly. Happy Halloween everyone! Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” is a major Halloween favorite that’s persisted since 1820. Burton was tapped to direct a more official adaptation that was neither silent nor one half of an animated Disney version. Sleepy Hollow was always sort of a mystery to me when it comes to movies Burton’s directed. I knew it existed, but I somehow managed to avoid seeing much of it growing up.
Sleepy Hollow is actually less of a direct adaptation and more of an ode to gory atmospheric horror movies of the 70’s. The story can just get a bit complicated to the point Sleepy Hollow nearly put me to sleep. Ichabod Crane is a 1799 New York constable instead of a new schoolmaster. Crane believes in science and is almost comically squeamish around blood. Crane is obviously played by Johnny Depp alongside an older Christina Ricci as his blonde love interest. The biggest star of Sleepy Hollow is Sleepy Hollow itself. The practically colorless spooky setting is so atmospheric that it won a rare Best Art Direction Oscar for a horror movie.
Although Sleepy Hollow can be very creepy, the blood is so over-the-top that only Tim Burton could have pulled it off. The infamous Headless Horseman chops off heads left and right. He has a classic look and black horse, but he’s also very agile. I can’t say I was expecting a growling sharp toothed Christopher Walken to be the head attached to the body. The supernatural stuff doesn’t stop at him since there’s also a witch. Sleepy Hollow has just the right amount of chills and decapitated heads to be a worthy adaptation.