Sleepy Hollow [Blu-ray]
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Ichabod Crane is sent to Sleepy Hollow to investigate the decapitations of 3 people with the culprit being the legendary apparition, the Headless Horseman.
The films of Tim Burton shine through the muck like a jack-o-lantern on a foggy October night. After such successes as The Nightmare Before Christmas and Edward Scissorhands, it should come as no surprise that Sleepy Hollow is a dazzling film, a delicious reworking of Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Dark and moody, the film is a thrilling ride back to the turn of the 19th century. Johnny Depp stars as Ichabod Crane, a seemingly hapless constable from New York City who is sent to the small town of Sleepy Hollow to solve the mystery of the decapitations that are plaguing the town. Crane is a bumbling sort, with a tremendous faith in science over mysticism, and he comes up against town secrets, bewitching women, and a number of bodies missing heads. Christina Ricci, as beautiful as ever, is Katrina Van Tassel, the offbeat love interest who alternately charms and frightens Crane.
The film, while occasionally gory (as one should expect from a movie about a headless horseman), is not terribly frightening, although it is suspenseful. Both Depp and Ricci are convincing, and the art direction and production values give the village its harsh feel. Toward the end, once the secrets are revealed, the film does slow down; however, this stylistic horror film provides many tricks and even more treats. --Jenny Brown
- Aspect Ratio : 1.85:1
- MPAA rating : s_medR R (Restricted)
- Product Dimensions : 7.75 x 5.5 x 0.75 inches; 3.2 Ounces
- Director : Tim Burton
- Media Format : Blu-ray, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
- Run time : 1 hour and 45 minutes
- Release date : June 3, 2008
- Actors : Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Miranda Richardson, Michael Gambon, Casper Van Dien
- Dubbed: : French, Spanish
- Subtitles: : English, French, Spanish
- Producers : Adam Schroeder, Andrew Kevin Walker, Celia D. Costas, Dieter Geissler
- Studio : Paramount
- ASIN : B000I0QM0E
- Writers : Andrew Kevin Walker, Kevin Yagher, Washington Irving
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: #29,191 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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By John P. Salvaggio on September 29, 2019
Burton made the movie part procedural whodonit and part thriller-horror. Crane questions the townsfolk, goes through their records, and examines the victim’s bodies to try to figure out who the Headless Horseman is. The Horseman himself emerges from a tree full of blood and severs the heads of the leading townsfolk one after another. It turns out the story is one about a conspiracy and revenge.
Christopher Walken as the Horseman does a great job. He doesn't get to do anything but kill people and scream and growl, but it is impressive. His facial expressions portray a real evil. Depp has a strong performance as well. He’s part bumbler part detective. They give some background to him as well and his dealings with the occult.
Burton should be commended for Sleepy Hollow. It was the perfect outlet for his unique vision of movies.
The story and performances are a little more wobbly. I always love Johnny Depp, but this is one of the few times I can ever remember feeling him ‘acting’. Even in his most outlandish roles, he usually feels effortless. That’s sometimes the case here, but not always. Christina Ricci on the other hand, has been toned down so much form her normally quirky presence that she feels surprisingly bland – not a word I usually associate with this very talented actress, The story itself has it’s ups and downs. There are some truly tense scenes,and some good satiric fun had with both old horror film clichés and the gentry circa 1800, but there is also a surprisingly conventional narrative for Burton, complete with a climax that feels very standard, and what you’d expect in any Hollywood blockbuster.
A worthwhile film to see, especially for fans of Burton and/or cinematography, but not the director’s best work.
Top reviews from other countries
Just an observation- there are no extra features included on this disc.
Update: since posting the above I have noticed that the film can be played back in English or alternatively in dubbed French. Oddly, The French subtitles I mentioned above are available whether the film is played back in English or French. So why no English subtitles- it doesn’t make sense.
The other aspect is there's no 'extras', gone is Tim Burton's interesting audio commentary, also the featurettes as featured on the DVD are not included, what is: French / English regionalisation and audio set up for home cinema kits.
What is going for it is the price and that it is a thoroughly entertaining Gothic Horror by a master of the genre.
One of the main strengths of this, besides the overall acting and widespread use of almost black and white photography to create a sinister atmosphere is the musical score which adds a menacing dimension to it all. Depp plays the jittery, nervous and contradictory Crane to perfection as he searches for the clues in order to find the murderer. But although It keeps your attention throughout and is packed full of suspense, and mystery. adding more twists and turns as the story unfolds, the romance between Ichabod and Katrina lacks chemistry and is unconvincing.
The single disc open directly yo an atmospheric thunder and lightning main menu featuring play, scene selection, audio [2.0/5.1, directors commentary on/off] and trailer. Slow to get into its stride, it soon gains pace to reach an exciting and ever changing finale. As a 15 rating it’s undoubtedly a ***** but ‘modern’ hard core horror buffs will find it wanting in the ‘blood n gore’ stakes.
This film contains all the elements of a good Tim Burton film including gothic horror, a brilliantly funny script, beautiful visuals and Johnny Depp. The all-star cast all give near perfect performances especially Depp himself. Some of the special effects were somewhat suspect but the headless horseman itself and the overall mood of the film don't suffer and remain brilliantly dark. Sleepy Hollow is a beautifully made film that should be loved by any fan of Burton's films.