December 12, 2004
Rated: R Runtime: 105 min Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Movies For Guys’ Original Review of the Theatrical Release
What happens when you take a classic short story and mix it with the imagination of Tim Burton and try to make a feature length film out of it? Well the answer is you come up with a pretty darned good movie believe it or not.
As youngsters I suspect most all of us have heard the tale of the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving. The movie takes more than a few creative liberties with the story as was necessary to build nearly a 2 hour movie out of it, but the jist remains the same. Constable Ichabod Crane comes to Sleepy Hollow to investigate a series of murders that have supposedly been carried out by a headless man on horseback who appears mysteriously out of the night, takes his victims head and just as quickly disappears. If you enjoyed the short story, you’re not going to be disappointed with the movie.
The director of this movie is Tim Burton, who has brought us films such as Batman, Batman Returns, Edward Scissorhands and Beetlejuice. Burton is at his best when allowed to work with stories that let you use your imagination and let him use his to create a surreal world on screen. He’s the perfect director for this movie. As with Batman, I still think we should all chip in and buy him some lighting, but in this movie the dark moody world created by Burton works well. His movies can be a bit of an acquired taste, but his style matchs this story so well, I dont think that’s a factor in this one.
The cast features alot of people who have worked with director Burton before especially Johnny Depp. You may remember Depp from other Burton movies such as Edward Scissorhands or Ed Wood. The two are reunited here with Johnny playing Ichabod Crane. True to the short story, Ichabod isn’t always filled with lots of testicular fortitude. After a couple of encounters with the Horseman you have to wonder about the size of the skidmark in old Ichabod’s skivvies. Depp does well here illiciting some good chuckles with his reactions.
The rest of the cast includes such accomplished Burton veterans as Christopher Walken and Martin Landau. Walken gets a very unique role for him which he hams up extremely well. Landau got an Oscar last time he was teamed with Burton, but his role in this movie is very brief. Christina Ricci and the rest of the cast turn in solid performances. However, I couldn’t help but be distracted by the size of the jowels on Jeffrey Jones these days. I cant help but always see him as Ed Rooney chasing Ferris Bueller, but it looks like he stopped chasing Ferris and instead has been chasing a few buffets. Or maybe he finally got his eggs that he was looking for in Howard the Duck. If you get that reference, seek help, and send me the phone number if you find it.
The only real knock I have against this movie is that they released it 3 weeks AFTER Halloween. What a great halloween movie this would’ve been. But after some really mediocre horror movies in recent months, this one finally delivers something memorable. This is a suitable date movie. There’s just enough of a scare factor to plant your date firmly in your arm pit, but not enough gore to turn her off. In fact, there’s even a dash of romance in this one. There’s going to be some big titles out during the holiday season to compete with this one for your viewing dollars, but if you’re in the mood for a good well done horror flick, check this one out.
Popularity: 7% [?]
Seen it? How many stars do you give it?